7587035There is so much to enjoy in the Morristown region all spring long. Tennessee is at its beautiful best in springtime with fresh, warm afternoons and cool evenings, and some of the most diverse wildflowers in the world. It’s easy to get out and enjoy it, too, when there are so many exciting events happening as everyone rushes to get their dose of sunshine and over a case of cabin fever. There’s a reason the people in this region know springtime as “festival season” around Knoxville.

April 12th is the annual Chalk Walk in Knoxville, at the popular Market Square and Krutch Park area. All day from 8am to 5PM artists are out painting the streets, and families have fun participating in all kinds of activities. The streets are the canvas and you get to see unique creations from some of the city’s best creatives. Plus, there’s already no end of fun at Market Square. Grab a bite to eat at Tupelo Honey, browse the boutiques, and enjoy April. If you have fun at the Chalk Walk, the next weekend there’s another Market Square festival, this one the Dogwood Arts Festival with art of all kinds— not just on the concrete. Enjoy music, performance art, culinary delights, and all kinds of paintings, crafts, sculptures, glass, and more.

The Rossini Festival April 25th is perfect for music enthusiasts. Market Square is filled with song and dance of all genres, including some opera, with plenty of food to be had. And if food is your thing, you’ll love the International Biscuit Festival May 14-16, and June 13 Big Kahuna Wing Festival at World’s Fair Park. Or you can bring the grandkids to the Children’s Festival of Reading May 16th.

If you’d rather get out in the country and savor the sunshine at your own pace, Panther Creek State Park is just six miles from Morristown and has plenty of excitement of its own. You can of course go for nature walks on your own, especially the mile-long Road to Recycling Trail that isn’t too strenuous. Or you can take advantage of some of their spring events. April 18th they offer a Native Gardening Workshop, which includes gardening tips, a wildflower/butterfly hike, and a chance to plant some native flowers and trees. There’s also plenty of opportunities to get out on the water and enjoy some quality fishing. Cherokee Lake is stocked annually with Striped Bass.

However you choose to enjoy Panther Creek, it’s a wonderful way to make sure you get plenty of exercise and maintain your strength, balance, and stamina. There’s evidence, too, that time spent in nature is good for your mental health as well as physical. A study by Dr. Jeannette Haviland-Jones of Rutgers University found that exposure to flowers decreased depression in senior citizens, improved memory function, and encouraged community engagement. That just confirms what we already knew— that it’s easy to be happy in springtime!