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Tour De Lights Hits City Streets with Over 400 Holiday Cyclists

December 21, 2011 | More News | Events

2011 Tour de Lights

On December 15, an estimated 400-500 holiday-spirited bicyclists turned out for the 5th annual Tour de Lightscommunity bike ride, a spectacle of lights, costumes, and merriment to celebrate the season.

The weather forecast wasn't looking good as the workday drew to a close, but the rain held off in honor of the evening's event. Erin Donovan from WBIR, David Gwin from VG's Bakery, and David Dewhirst from Dewhirst Properties began judging for the bicycle decorating contest promptly at 6 p.m. while Mast General Store and Three Rivers Market were serving cookies and hot cocoa. Then came the Santas, the wise men, and the camel, oh my! Twinkling lights, jingling bells, and merry music completed the holiday scene.

The ride started from Market Square and toured Old North Knoxville and 4th & Gill neighborhoods. People along the route waved and cheered from porches, front yards, and street corners. Festive light displays along the way offered a cheery backdrop for the cyclists to enjoy.

The group stopped at the corner of Depot and Gay streets in the parking lot of the former Regas Restaurant, which occupies nearly a whole block ? amazingly, the entire lot was filled with bicyclists and their lights. The group formed a merry parade back through downtown to the surprise and enjoyment of bystanders.

After the ride, everyone returned to Market Square to enjoy more cookies and hot cocoa while the awards for best decorations were announced. Many thanks to the City of Knoxville, Knoxville Police Department, the sponsors, and volunteers for making this year's ride the best yet.

Posted 12-21-2011, written by Kelley Segars