Visit Knoxville & Bike Walk Knoxville Announce 2023 Tour De Lights | Sports Destination Management

Visit Knoxville & Bike Walk Knoxville Announce 2023 Tour De Lights

Dec 01, 2023

Visit Knoxville is pleased to announce the return of community favorite Tour de Lights in partnership with Bike Walk Knoxville, taking place December 9, 2023. The event has a new kick-off and conclusion this year, taking place at Mary Costa Plaza at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum, along with a new route, and some exciting additions.

Tour de Lights is a fantastic, free, and family-friendly holiday bike ride presented by Visit Knoxville and Bike Walk Knoxville. For 2023, there will be a Holiday Market & Expo with over 20 booths and vendors; hot chocolate and beer will be available for purchase through the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum; food trucks including Alebrijes Mexican Cuisine, Ronchini’s Paninis, and Your Sugar Therapy; and a delightful guest appearance by Santa himself. While the event is free, attendees are requested to register prior to the ride – all registrants will be entered in a drawing for prizes from local businesses.

Register for Tour de Lights here:

“We are thrilled to expand upon the Tour de Lights that everyone knows and loves,” said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. “Holding the event at Mary Costa Plaza will allow us to build on the experience prior to and post-ride – a gathering for music, makers, and more.”

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Visit Knoxville to host Tour de Lights,” said Lindsey Kimble, Executive Director of Bike Walk Knoxville. “This new footprint and route will continue our efforts in creating an iconic event for families and friends to look forward to, year after year.”

Schedule of Events

  • 3:30-8:00 pm – Holiday Market & Expo
  • 4:15 pm  – Costume Contest Judging (Register for the costume contest here.)
  • 5:30 pm – Tour de Lights Bike Ride Start
  • 6:00-8:00 pm – Special Appearance & Photos with Santa ($10 per family/group)
  • Costume contest winners to be announced after the ride. Must be present to win.

Tour de Lights Costume Contest Information

One of the most enjoyable and thrilling aspects of Tour de Lights is the abundance of holiday decorations. There's no more enjoyable way to be immersed in the holiday season than by donning costumes, decorating bicycles/helmets, and getting ready to ride. Be a part of the excitement and take part in the costume contest for an opportunity to win some fantastic prizes provided by local businesses.

Costume Contest Categories 

  • Most Creative Bike
  • Best Themed Group
  • Best All-Around

Each person may enter in only one category. All judging and awards will take place during the Holiday Market & Expo at Mary Costa Plaza starting at 4:15pm. Contestants must come in costume. Categories will be judged one at a time, making sure everyone is ready to start the ride promptly at 5:30pm. Awards will be announced following the ride at Mary Costa Plaza. Must be present to win.

Safety Information

It is the goal of Visit Knoxville and Bike Walk Knoxville for everyone to be safe and have fun while participating in the Tour de Lights bike ride. There are some challenges that go along with riding with over a thousand other bicyclists. Please check out safety tips here.

Road Closures and Parking Information

Tour de Lights participants are recommended to park in the A, B, or C garages at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum. Please note there are other events taking place around this time – the Nativity Pageant of Knoxville at 3pm at the Coliseum, and the Oak Ridge Academy of Dance Holiday Spectacular at 7pm at the Auditorium, so plan accordingly.

Closure on Eastbound Howard Baker Jr. Drive at Hall of Fame Drive to Hill Avenue starting at 4pm. Attendees can park in the A and B garages by entering westbound Howard Baker Jr. Drive at Hill Avenue, or park in the C garage by Historic Preservation Drive. Parking in these garages will be free after 3:30 pm.

More information and route map can be found here:

Additional FAQs can be found here:

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