Opinion: The 1975’s lively performance captivates audience

On Wednesday Nov. 30, The 1975 captivated its audience with a lively performance at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum.

This was the first time the popular English band has performed in Knoxville, resulting in a huge turnout.

Hundreds of fans huddled towards the stage to listen the alternative band performs songs from their latest album, “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware.”

The band combines rock, pop and indie resonances to create an intimate and distinct sound. Lead singer, Matt Healy, attributes to the sound with a honeyed tone. There is also a soothing saxophone presence in many songs. This is a contrast to the energy and effects of the performance; however, the effects and sound, though dissimilar, complement each other to enhance the band’s distinct image.

A variety of scenes were displayed to enhance the melodies, as well as brilliant displays of lights to accompany the individual songs. This, along with the band’s combination of genres and themes, created a lively atmosphere.

The band not only performed songs on their newest album, but also played other fan favorites from their debut album “The 1975” including “Girls” and “Chocolate.” Newer songs like “UGH!” and “Love Me” had the audience singing and dancing along.

Kelly Green, an avid fan of the band, described the performance: “I’ve seen the band perform twice before, but I enjoy it more every time. They combine so many ideas and have a unique aesthetic. They are really strange, but I think that’s why they’re so appealing.”

Justin Vance, another audience member, said, “This is the first time I’ve seen the band perform, and I didn’t know all of the songs. Even though I didn’t know that much about them, I still thought the performance was incredible. They have amazing presence and there was an amazing atmosphere.”

For more information on The 1975, visit their website.

Featured Image by Abby Hamilton

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Opinion: Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights is fun for all ages

Every year Rock City hosts the Enchanted Garden of Lights just in time for Christmas.

The lights are available to view starting Nov. 18 –Dec. 31. You can go any night except for Christmas Eve when they will be closed.

Tickets for this attraction differ in pricing based on the day of the week you plan to attend. Monday through Thursday tickets cost $19.95 for adults and $11.95 for children. Friday through Sunday tickets cost $22.95 for adults and $12.95 for children.

Rock City has been one of the main places to see lights during Christmas time, and this past Saturday night was no exception.

From the moment you reach the entrance of the attraction you are greeted with people everywhere. There are people parking, buying Starbucks and waiting in line to get tickets.

A new factor that Rock City has put in place is the option to make your own tour, or you can follow the traditional route where you will start at the Yule Town.

As soon as you walk into the gardens you are met with thousands of beautiful lights. No matter which way you chose to go, you can’t help but marvel at the different light shows.

One set of lights that you will want to go look at is the large star that is hanging on the side of a waterfall that looks out onto the city of Chattanooga, Tenn. This view was an important part of one couple’s experience. “The experience of great views and beautiful lights are worth braving the cold,” Peyton Halley, an attendee who was there with her boyfriend, said.

The experience of the lights is something that can be enjoyed as a whole. You can see a theme in each section of light, which can be found by using the map that you receive when you purchase you ticket. If you are looking for something fun and interesting to do this Christmas season, Rock City is a perfect place to go.

Featured Image by Emily Haskew

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Fantasy of Trees raises over $400,000 for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital

Over 60,000 people attended the 32nd annual Fantasy of Trees event at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Fantasy of Trees raised over $400,000 for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. This year’s money goes toward anesthesia equipment for the Neonatal ICU.

The show presented over 350 trees, wreaths and holiday home décor for sale made by local businesses. There was also a huge display of gingerbread houses.

Tickets were $8 for adults and $4 for children.

Jordan Stanton, an attendee, said, “We come here every year, and love that we can attend something so great for an even better cause.”

This event hosted many things for kids to do including face paint, cookie decorating, carousel riding and more.

Janet Williams attended the event with her niece. “I love that we can come to this event as a family, and not get bored,” she said. “Seeing Santa was definitely the best part.”

Carter High School, along with many other schools, held a performance of songs for the Christmastime. The Oak Ridge Ballet Association performed a showcase of their Christmas ballet for the people attending.

“This is my third year volunteering for Fantasy of the Trees,” Nick Wylie, a volunteer working at the cookie decorating station, said. “I want to continue volunteering because I love this cause. I have visited the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital many of times, so helping this cause is so awesome.”

For more information of Fantasy of Trees, visit their website.

Featured Image by Rylee Barnes

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Local retailers open for Thanksgiving Day sales

Last year, 151 million people shopped over the Black Friday weekend, with 34 percent of those shopping on Thanksgiving day, according to the Washington Post.

This year, many retailers have decided to close their doors on Thanksgiving day.

Recently, the Mall of America, located in Minneapolis, Minn. decided to close their doors on Thanksgiving day. This decision gave over 1,000 employees the day off to spend time with their families.

Following this decision, many other retailers have also decided to close their doors on Thanksgiving day including REI, Dillard’s and Costco.

If you are planning on taking advantage of the Thanksgiving deals, there are still big-box retailers that will be open.

Here is a list of retailers that will be open on Thanksgiving and those that will not.

Retailers Open on Thanksgiving:
West Town Mall – 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday; Will reopen at 6 a.m. on Black Friday
Walmart – 6 p.m. (Online will begin at 3 a.m. Thursday)
Target – 6 p.m. (Online deals begin at 1 a.m. Thursday)
Best Buy – 5 p.m. (Online deals begin at 2 a.m. Thursday)
Toys R Us – 5 p.m. (Online deals begin 9 p.m. Wednesday)
Kohl’s – 6 p.m. (Online deals begin 12 a.m. Monday, Nov. 21st)
J. C. Penney – 3 p.m. (Online deals begin at 12 a.m. Thursday)
Belk – 4 p.m. (Online deals begin 12 a.m. Wednesday)
Michaels – 6 p.m. (Online deals begin 4 a.m. Thursday)
Dicks Sporting Goods – 6 p.m. (Online deals begin 12 a.m. Thursday)
Ulta – 6 p.m.
Old Navy – 4 p.m.
Stein Mart – 5 p.m.

Retailers Closed on Thanksgiving:
Barnes and Noble
Game Stop
HH Gregg
TJ Maxx
Home Depot

Featured Image by Paul§, obtained through CreativeCommons.org

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

UTK Trunk or Treat brings safe Halloween fun for all ages

The University of Tennessee United Residence Hall Council and National Residence Hall Honorary hosted their annual Trunk or Treat took place Wednesday Oct. 26 from 6-8 p.m. at Circle Park. The goal of the event was to bring the community together for some safe Halloween fun.

There were numerous activities for the children to take part in such as face painting, pumpkin painting and a cake walk. There were 25 decorated trunks full of candy at the event ranging from Finding Nemo and Minion themed to ghost and spider themed. Additionally, plenty of Halloween refreshments were provided such as candy apples, cotton candy, chips, cookies, popcorn and drinks.

Organizations including multiple Residence Hall Associations, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Student Political Alliance, National Residence Hall Honorary, Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity and many more were represented at Trunk or Treat.

“My favorite part about Trunk or Treat is seeing kids from around Knoxville come together for a night of fun and community building,” said Dylan Roberts, President of National Residence Hall Honorary and Resident Assitant in Fred D. Brown Hall. He spoke about his passion for putting this event on and seeing what impact it makes on everyone who participates. He then said, “I also love seeing the different UT organizations come together to build that sense of community on campus.”

The University of Tennessee Police Department also made an appearance at the event, along with the Knoxville Fire Department who passed out candy on the big, red fire trunk.

Miles Basehart, Assistant Director of Student Conduct and Leadership, spoke about his contribution with putting this event on while celebrating his daughter’s first Halloween. He summed up Trunk or Treat by saying, “We do this event every year because we want a safe environment for the children of Knoxville to be able to come to around Halloween. We want to engage the UT community by letting any organization be a part of this, as well. The turn out gets better and better every year.”

You can learn more about the URHC and NRHH organizations on their websites.

Featured Image by Jada Blackwell

Edited by Katy Hill

Boo! at the Zoo draws in thousands of attendees for Halloween festivities

BOO! At the Knoxville Zoo was presented this year by US Cellular. This event is Knoxville’s largest Halloween event lasting 12 nights, over the span of 3 weekends. It draws in thousands of attendees each year for Halloween fun. This event is perfect for children of all ages and their families. BOO at the Zoo has been held for 30 years and brings in a lot of attraction to the Knoxville Zoo.

During the events, children and their parents would line up along a trail to collect their treats and candy. No participant went home without bags full of candy.

“My kids love attending this event, and we look forward to getting dressed up each year to come,” Alison Sipos, a parent attending the event with her kids, said.

BOO at the Zoo has over 30 stations to pick up candy from, as well as activities at the Monster Mash tent and a Zoo Boo Choo to ride.

Many event workers dress up in costumes, waiting for photo ops with the children and their families. This year’s costumes included Disney princesses, Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas and more. This year’s event also had a “Scary- go -round.” This is the only haunted carousel in East Tennessee, and it goes backwards.

“This is the best way to get volunteer hours for any required need, because it is so much fun! We all get to take some candy home too,” Taylor Poe, an event volunteer from Powell High School, said.

BOO! at the Zoo attendee, Alyssa Rasberry, said she has been attending this event since she was young. “I will never miss a BOO! at the Zoo event, I can’t wait to one day bring my kids here too,” Rasberry said.

The cost of Boo! At the Zoo was $9 per person, and children under age four were admitted free. U.S Cellular customers and Zoo members were given a $2 discount off the regular price. The eventful evenings lasted from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. each night. From the thousands of attendees, BOO! At the Zoo seems to be a success year after year.  It takes place all around the country at many zoos and they never run out of candy.

Featured image by Rylee Barnes

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo