The Daily Pulse:

The Weekend Plan-It: Marble City Comicon, Rossini Festival, and Cirque du Soleil's 'Varekai'

Good morning! Happy weekend! It's the Rossini Festival Weekend, and with that comes many road closures. More details at the bottom. Now take a look at what's going on this weekend.

At noon, head over to the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe for the weekly UT Science Forum. This week, forest researcher Dr. Stacey Clark, who works with the U.S. Forest Service, will talk about whether we can restore the American Chestnut tree population. It's free to attend and open to the public! For more info, call (865) 974-8156 or email

From 4 to 8:30 p.m., Pellissippi State's International Culture Festival will take place at the Hardin Valley Road campus. Go check out all the food, art, and entertainment for free!

As part of the Rossini Festival weekend, the Knoxville Opera will perform Bellini's "Norma" at 8 p.m. in the Tennessee Theatre. Tickets are $10-$95. Buy them here. (You can also catch a matinee performance on Sunday!)

But if opera isn't really your thing, head over to 90 Proof in the Old City for Friday Dance Night. DJ Cattabrie will be spinning records. Or whatever the kids do these days. No cover! 21+ only.

And don't forget to check out local indie rockers Madre, who'll play at Scruffy City Hall at 10 p.m. with Gamenight and O Youth. 21+ only.

Marble City Comicon, Knoxville's new comic book, sci-fi, and fantasy convention will feature celebrities Kevin Nash, guest artists, gaming tournaments, a replica of Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder, and--duh--cosplay. Day Tickets are $20, and 3-day tickets are $75. Buy them here.

The Rossini Festival officially kicks off at 11 a.m. downtown. In case you've never heard of it, there will be tons of food and vendors and activities all over downtown. And it's free to go check it all out. 

Then catch the UT Opera Theatre's production of "Cosi fan tutte" at 2:30 and 8 p.m. at the Carousel Theatre. Tickets are $20. Buy them here

Brazilian dance troupe Companhia Ubana de Dança will bring their style of traditional Brazilian-meets-hip-hop moves to the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville at 8 p.m. Tickets to see them perform are $15-$25. Buy them here. (You can catch a Sunday performance at 4 p.m.)

Wrap up the night at the Well, where Zack and Kota's Sweet Life will play at 10 p.m. with Crowd and Ebony Eyes. Cover's $5. 21+ only.

At 1:30 and 5 p.m., catch showings of Cirque du Soleil's "Varekai," a post-modern take on the story of Icarus, at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tickets are $35-$150. Buy them here

Authors Gordon and Traci Belt will be on hand at Union Ave Books to sign copies of their new biography of John Sevier at 2 p.m. It's free to attend!

The Knoxville Game Design Meetup also starts at 2 at the Technology Cooperative (130 W. Jackson Ave). All levels of designers are welcome, from veterans to newbie hobbyists! More info here.

The Preservation Pub's Upstairs Underground Stand-Up Comedy Show starts at 8 p.m. There's no cover! 21+ only.

Here are the streets that will be closed for the Rossini Festival starting 11 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Sunday:
-Gay Street between Summit and Cumberland
-Market Street between Cumberland and Union
-Church Ave between Walnut and State Streets
-Clinch Ave between Walnut and State Streets
-Union Ave between Walnut and State Streets
-Wall Ave between Gay and Walnut Streets

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