Sunsphere to be Lit Red, White & Blue for Festival on the 4th

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Sunsphere to be Lit Red, White & Blue for Festival on the 4th

Posted: 06/09/2016
Flag and SunsphereBeginning with a lighting ceremony on Monday evening, June 27, the base of the World’s Fair Park Sunsphere will be illuminated red, white and blue in celebration of the City of Knoxville’s Festival on the Fourth and the City’s 225th anniversary.

The festive exterior lighting will continue through the evening of July 4.

Since its construction for the 1982 World’s Fair, the Sunsphere has been a signature landmark of Knoxville. Its observation deck is a popular attraction, drawing thousands of visitors.

Because of the Sunsphere’s immense popularity, the City’s Special Events Department, in collaboration with sponsor Lloyd’s Electric Service Inc., chose to celebrate the City’s 225th birthday and Festival on the Fourth with the special weeklong one-time lighting.

At a cost of less than $5,000, Illuminating Design Inc. of Atlanta, Ga., will be temporarily installing LED lights that have been used by Disney, Space X, the U.S. Air Force and the National Football League.

However, the commemorative lighting eventually could become a permanent amenity. Visit Knoxville is seeking tourism grants that, if funded, would provide the permanent infrastructure to illuminate the Sunsphere as a marketing tool to draw visitors and events to the City.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Knoxville's iconic landmark in Knoxville,” said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. “The teams at the City, VK and the Public Building Authority work hand-in-hand to enhance the visitor experience at the Sunsphere on a daily basis. A permanent lighting plan will make this attraction come alive after dark, which will be a wonderful beacon to visitors and our community.”
If the estimated $75,000 for initial electrical installation is secured, the Public Building Authority would be responsible for maintaining and monitoring the lighting.

“We are excited about the proposed project for permanent lighting of the Sunsphere, said Jayne Burritt, PBA’s CEO. “We see firsthand the number of visitors who flock to this attraction on a daily basis. An illumination of this magnitude can only enhance this landmark and draw additional visitors.”

If grant funding materializes for permanent lighting, the project would be put out for competitive bidding, Burritt said.

For more details on Festival on the Fourth or the City’s 225th anniversary, follow Special Events on Facebook at or visit