Peppermint treats – and prizes – are coming to Downtown Knoxville

Downtown Knoxville’s favorite holiday festivities are returning on Nov. 26. Residents and visitors of all ages will enjoy an immersive holiday experience, including a new twist on the popular Peppermint Trail, seasonal photo opportunities and more merry activities for the entire family.

“We are transforming Downtown Knoxville into a winter wonderland with fun activities and sights for both residents and visitors,” said Michele Hummel, executive director of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance. “Guests will have more opportunities than ever to make holiday memories as they eat, drink, shop and explore.”

A digital twist on the Peppermint Trail brings opportunities for prizes while enjoying the city center’s best coffees, candies, cocktails and other peppermint-inspired creations. Explorers can download a Peppermint Trail Pass mobile passport to track their progress on sampling holiday creations.

Those who use the Peppermint Trail Pass to check in to three participating merchants will earn a 2021 Peppermint Trail sticker, and each passport check-in beyond three is an entry in a drawing to win $25 and $100 gift cards to local businesses, as well as a grand prize of dinner and overnight stay in Downtown Knoxville.

Sign up for the Peppermint Trail Pass and see the 80-plus participating merchants and their seasonal specials at

Other holiday activities running from Nov. 26-Jan. 2 and organized by the Downtown Knoxville Alliance and a host of other partners include:

  • Santa Claus is sending Scout Elves to Downtown Knoxville for the sixth annual The Elf on the Shelf® Adventure. Sneaky elves will hide in storefront windows at dozens of participating downtown businesses. North Pole Pass passports for this annual tradition are available at Visit Knoxville and Mast General Store and via download at Participants can share photos via social media using the hashtag #ElvesInKnox and tagging @downtownknox for chances to win weekly gift card drawings.
  • Elves have placed a magical mailbox in Market Square where children of all ages can drop off their secret wishes to Santa. Local artist Paris Woodhull designed and painted the special box, guaranteed to keep kids’ letters safe until they are delivered to the North Pole. Be sure to leave your letter in the box before Christmas Eve, so it can make it on time!
  • Photo ops abound, including holiday-decorated merchant windows and new winter-themed murals. Photos tagged with #lovedowntownknox are the perfect way for residents and visitors to capture holiday memories.

Local designer Susie Norris’ KNOX-themed mural will make for memorable photos in Market Square outside the Knoxville’s Holidays on Ice open-air rink, which is hosted by the City of Knoxville. Dogwood Arts and Graphic Creations collaborated with the city and Downtown Knoxville Alliance on the 120-foot mural.

In December, local artist Megan Lingerfelt will add a winter scene in Downtown Knoxville’s Strong Alley.

A new KNOX-themed mural by local designer Susie Norris will make for a great photo op in Downtown Knoxville’s Market Square. Residents and visitors are encouraged to share holiday photos taken in the center city on social media tagged with #lovedowntownknox.

For more information about these and other holiday happenings in Downtown Knoxville, visit

“We appreciate the participation of the many businesses that help us make the holidays an unforgettable experience in Downtown Knoxville,” Hummel said. “We hope everyone enjoys the seasonal scenery while supporting these shops and restaurants.”

About the Downtown Knoxville Alliance

Ensuring a vibrant, flourishing downtown is the primary mission of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance (DKA). Formed in 1993 as a Central Business Improvement District (CBID), the district encompasses a 0.67-square-mile area and is supported by a special assessment to property owners that is used to make improvements, enhance services and promote downtown. The DKA continually focuses on attracting and retaining a thriving community of residents, businesses and visitors in Downtown Knoxville. For more information, visit