City of Knoxville will review ordinance that sank proposed pirate fest

1:57 PM, Mar 1, 2013   |    comments
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Knoxville's mayor has asked city officials to review an ordinance that has derailed plans to bring a pirate festival to Knoxville.

The festival's organizers want to have the event at Volunteer Landing, and say it would bring a lot of pirate re-enactors and enthusiasts to town.  The problem?  The city informed the organizers that swords, even replicas, would not be allowed in Volunteer Landing, which is a city park.

Now, it looks the city will take another look at that policy.

Mayor Madeline Rogero issued a statement on Friday, saying she wants to take another look at the city's restrictions to see if it would be possible to allow the festival.

"There have been recent inquiries about whether the City's restriction on weapons in public parks applies to historical re-enactments or themed events, such as a proposed Pirate Festival. As currently written, our ordinance does rule out the carrying or use of real weapons even in those cases.

"I have directed our Law Department and Visit Knoxville to review that ordinance and work with event sponsors to determine how to allow such events to safely take place. We are committed to ensuring public safety in all of our City parks. At the same time, we welcome events that are educational or offer swashbuckling fun, and that promote Knoxville as an attractive tourist destination."

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