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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Knoxville in Knox County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Gay Street

The Center of Celebrations

 

— Betsey Beeler Creekmore —

 
Gay Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 30, 2018
1. Gay Street Marker
Inscription.  July 4, 1793, was a gala day in the tiny Territorial Capital. The Gazette ecstatically reported that, at 2 p.m., the newly arrived Federal troops paraded, and fired a cannon to salute; at 4 o'clock, all the citizens partook of an elegant banquet that ended with the drinking of no fewer than 15 toasts; as darkness fell, a company of soldiers fired "feu de joie"; and the festivities closed with a display of fireworks. All this took place on the grounds of the Federal Blockhouse flanking Gay Street.

From that day to this, Gay Street has been Knoxville's traditional parade route. It has been the line of march for departing volunteers and for returning veterans of all wars beginning with Indian uprisings in territorial days. It has seen horse races and torchlight processions. There have been livestock parades, circus parades, U.T. Homecoming floats, Santa Claus parades, and Dogwood Arts Festival band competitions. In the past, families in new Spring finery joined the Easter Parade, and families brought costumed children to stroll the brightly lighted street on Halloween. Now Knoxville's extended family gathers for Saturday Night
Gay Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 30, 2018
2. Gay Street Marker
View looking west into the Krutch Park extension.
on the Town.

Gay Street changes with the changing times, but it remains the heart of Knoxville.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles.
 
Location. 35° 57.868′ N, 83° 55.079′ W. Marker is in Knoxville, Tennessee, in Knox County. Marker is on South Gay Street, on the right when traveling south. Marker is about 165 feet north of Clinch Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 531 South Gay Street, Knoxville TN 37902, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Charles Christopher Krutch (here, next to this marker); Tennessee Ernie Ford (a few steps from this marker); Site of Blount College (within shouting distance of this marker); Tennessee Theater (within shouting distance of this marker); Catherine Wiley (within shouting distance of this marker); The Everly Brothers (within shouting distance of this marker); Knoxville's Old Custom House / Fiddlin' Bob Taylor (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cowan, McClung and Company Building / Fidelity Building (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Knoxville.
 
Also see . . .  Gay Street (Knoxville). (Submitted on June 8, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 8, 2018. It was originally submitted on June 8, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 115 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 8, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. View of Gay Street • Can you help?
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Aug. 8, 2020