The new World’s Fair Park is a state-of-the-art urban paradise that incorporates many of the major landmarks from the World’s Fair that was held in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1982. The newly designed park takes the functionality of the site to an impressive new level with beautifully landscaped green spaces, interactive fountains and water features, and verdant lawns for outdoor performances. Photo: digidreamgrafix/Fotolia

»World's Fair Park

World's Fair Park

Designed and built by the City of Knoxville as a space for the community to enjoy outdoor events and functions from intimate wine-tastings to music concerts. The World’s Fair Park features many characteristics that were built for the 1982 World’s Fair, such as the Tennessee Amphitheater, the Court of Flags, and the Sunsphere, as well as the newly added Knoxville Convention Center.

The Park consists of four main areas, namely The Performance Lawn, the Festival Lawn, the Amphitheater and the Lake Area, along with facilities, such as restrooms and picnic spots for visitors to enjoy. The Park also features new enhancements to accommodate one or more events taking place simultaneously, such as reinforced lawns and environmental features characteristic of the region. The park is filled with dogwood trees – the city’s signature tree and large, open lawns that provide multi-functional areas.

The World’s Fair Park features beautifully manicured lawns and a variety of horticultural features. The central Performance Lawn is a vast open area that is larger than in size than two football fields and provides a natural amphitheater-like setting for outdoor concerts, gatherings, parties and festivals.

Designed to cater for large events, the Festival Lawn spans two acres and features specially designed turf that can withstand bustling crowds. Located in the heart of the park, this multi-purpose manicured lawn is bordered by a tree-lined plaza to the east and native plantings on the west and is a favorite location for festival promoters.

Located on the northern end of the lawn, the Court of Flags Fountain is a fun, interactive water play area for summertime play, operating seasonally from March until the end of October. The popular Fountain and playground area is open year-round and creates a beautiful backdrop for photographers.

Horticultural features at the World’s Fair Park include plants that are symbolic of Knoxville, such as azaleas, rhododendron, forsythia, redbud and dogwood trees and bloom into a riot of colors each season. Knoxville, Tennessee: World's Fair Park - Photo: Christopher Boswell/Fotolia



Water is a central feature in the Park, which contains some of the most innovative and exciting water features in the form of placid lakes, quiet streams, cascading waterfalls, and a unique one-story-high geyser that spouts high into the air. This water features not only add auditory and visual pleasure but also contribute towards the functional landscape design of the Park.

The World’s Fair Park can be explored via several trails that crisscross the Park. The HGTV Walk serves as the north entry to the park and can be found north of the Court of Flags Fountain. The HGTV Walk consists of two pathways leading through a variety of colorful flowers, stocky shrubs, and beautiful trees, along with benches for visitors to relax and enjoy the surroundings. The Sergei Rachmaninoff Walk is named in honor of the world-renowned composer and performer and features a bronze statue sculpted by Russian artist, Victor Bokarev of the artist. Other features of the pathway include a semi-circle of Tennessee marble clad benches and lovely groups of hemlock and rhododendron. The Lawn and Water Walks wind around the Park’s Festival and Performance Lawns, streams, and lake and are frequented by walkers, joggers, and runners who want to enjoy the natural scenery.

Constructed for the 1982 World’s Fair and towering 266 feet above the city’s skyline, the Tennessee Amphitheater and the Sunsphere are the only structures that remain in the Park today. The Tennessee Amphitheater was used to host classical, and country music concerts and the Sunsphere served as the symbol of the Fair.

The only structure of its kind, the Sunsphere is an iconic feature of the Knoxville skyline and provides a 360-degree view of the city and beyond. Diners can enjoy dinner at the Primo Ristorante Italiano restaurant on the 5th level of the structure, and there are event rental space and local businesses on the 6th and upper floors of the structure. A newly added Observation Deck on the 4th floor houses a gallery of Knoxville photographs and breathtaking 360-degree views of Knoxville. The Observation Deck can be reached by elevator and can be rented for weddings, receptions, social and corporate functions.

The World's Fair Park is located in Knoxville and is open to the public from 6:00 am until midnight every day.

Back to: Best Things to do in Knoxville, TN Address: Knoxville, TN 37916, Phone: 865-215-1158 Knoxville, Tennessee: World's Fair Park - Photo: SeanPavonePhoto /Fotolia

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Knoxville, Tennessee: World's Fair Park

  • World's Fair Park, Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Boswell -
  • Waters, Photo: Courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto -
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of digidreamgrafix -