KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— This year’s Holiday Festival of Lights at the Cove at Concord Park set a record for non-perishable food items donated—enough to fill 16 barrels. A total of $7,428.49 was also donated.
The 22nd annual event ran almost the entire month of December and concluded Sunday, Jan. 3.
Last year’s festival, which set the previous record, raised $7,677 and 12 barrels of food.
“In a year with so much uncertainty and strife, it is so rewarding to see this kind of generosity come from one of our longest running Knox County traditions,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “These donations are evidence that even in the worst of times, we can pull together to support each other.”
The family-friendly event was free and open to the public though visitors were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or monetary donations. The donations will be turned over to The Love Kitchen, which provides meals, clothing, and emergency food packages for the homebound, homeless and unemployed.
During the festival, the Cove’s three-quarter-mile greenway was illuminated by a sparkling light display coordinated to music. The Knox County Parks and Recreation Department oversaw the decorating, which included placing dozens of displays and thousands of lights. It was sponsored by Radio Station B97.5.
The Knox County Commission later this month is excepted to officially accept the donations on behalf of the county. The Mayor and several parks and recreation department crews will deliver a check and the food donations to the Love Kitchen in February.