CUMBERLAND AVENUE MERCHANTS TO HOST FIRST-EVER
BRICK BY BRICK PRE-GAME BLOCK PARTY ON THE STRIP
If your orange blood is boiling and you just can’t wait for the Vols’ first home football game on Sept. 12, the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association has a cure – a first-ever pre-game closed-street block party before the Saturday, Sept. 5 season opener in Nashville.
In fact, merchants are anticipating a big weekend of back-to-back fun on Cumberland Avenue on Sept. 5-6. On Sunday, Sept. 6, the next day after the restart of University of Tennessee football, hit the Strip for the final Boomsday, the nation’s largest Labor Day Weekend fireworks show. Cumberland Avenue is a perfect spot to eat and start your Boomsday experience, merchants say.
A section of Cumberland Avenue will be closed between 18th Street and North 19th Street for the Brick by Brick Pre-Game on the Strip block party from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5.
Imagine 300 feet of booths, where the most diehard head-to-toe orange-and-white-clad UT fans can graze the food vendors, compete in games, get souvenir giveaways, purchase merchandise and take in the music provided by Merle 96.7 FM.
The event is alcohol-free and family-friendly.
After the pre-game festivities, UT fans are encouraged to gravitate toward their favorite Cumberland Avenue Corridor restaurants. Many merchants along the Strip are offering special menus, big-screen viewings and promotions in conjunction with the UT-Bowling Green game in Nashville. Kickoff is 4 p.m.
“We welcome Big Orange fans back to the Strip with a fun, family-friendly pre-game block party,” said Copper Cellar General Manager Jonah Riggs, one of the event organizers. “There will be a lot of fun options – games, food, live music, unique merchandise for sale, and giveaways of souvenirs and collectibles to fans.
“There certainly will be a lot of Vol enthusiasm. We hope our diehard fans will have a great time, then stay and watch the game at their favorite Cumberland Avenue restaurants.”
The City of Knoxville – which is reconstructing a nine-block stretch of Cumberland Avenue – is offering logistical support to the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association for the pre-game event.
The City’s $17 million investment in the street makeover will modernize aging utility infrastructure and improve traffic flow by changing the existing four-lane street to a three-lane cross section with a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections. Sidewalks will be widened and landscaped, and utility lines relocated, to create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly corridor.
“We know the lane closures during the reconstruction present challenges, but the popular and unique businesses in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor have been and will be accessible,” said Anne Wallace, the City’s Cumberland Avenue project manager. “We hope visitors to the Brick by Brick Pre-Game on the Strip event will realize that and continue to patronize these businesses.
“This block party also is a fun opportunity for people who love Cumberland to take note of what it looks like now, and compare that to the completed project in 2017.”
Helen Morton with University Liquors is one the stakeholders who’s eagerly anticipating Brick by Brick Pre-Game on the Strip. Earlier this week, she was part of a CAMA crew that spruced up Cumberland Avenue – tying up more than 100 huge orange and white bows to celebrate the return of Vol football.
“This block party is historic, and it’ll be a lot of fun,” Morton said. “It’s the first official street closing on Cumberland. What could be better than family, friends, food and football? I’m thrilled to be able to help out.
“We invite fans to come have a good time, and afterward, to stick around, patronize their favorite businesses, watch the game and enjoy a great meal.”
For more information about the block party or the Cumberland Avenue reconstruction project, or to check out this week’s special offers from merchants, visit www.cumberlandconnect.com.