Rox Knox At World's Fair Park

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) -- U.S. Cellular celebrated its 21st birthday party in Knoxville this afternoon.

Jagstar was on stage early in the day and Joan Jett along with Lifehouse followed into the evening. According to the telecommunications company who set it up, you only turn 21 once.

"21 years ago was the first wireless telephone call made in Knoxville, TN, and it was made by U.S. Cellular from Knoxville to Tokyo, Japan," said Tom Catani, Vice President of U.S. Cellular.

Today, everyone was invited to U.S. Cellular's 21st birthday party in World's Fair Park.

"We came all the way from Alabama," said Trinity Harrigton who was the first person in line. "We're big Lifehouse fans."

Others preferred an edgier sound.

"Love Joan Jett, love her to death," said Katie Queen, "I can't wait to see her."

Joan Jett, Lifehouse and local band Jagstar will all rock for Knox tonight.

"It's very cool working for an icon you know, a legend," said Beef Henderson who is a member of Jett's stage crew. "This is like NASCAR, this is the pit crew, man. You have go to get this tire off because it's the wrong tread."

According to Henderson, there is trouble if the pit crew isn't on its game

"The show doesn't go one without us," Henderson said.

Hours of set up and more than a year of planning went in for this one special night.

"You only turn 21 once," Catani said.

Some concert goer's were simply surpassed at the audience.

"You look out here and see all different ages, from this age, to a lot older people," said Shonna Radford. "It's nice to get to come together as a community like this."

With nearly ten thousand people filling the park, the Knoxville Police Department expected to be in full force, with Sky Watch looking over everything.

"It gives us a bird's eye view, literally, of the crowd," said a police official. "We're going to go up in there and watch and see if there's any hot spots that we need to move officers to."

The 21st birthday party includes vendors selling alcohol, but of course unlike U.S. Cellular, not everyone is 21.

"You want to make sure that people are safe," the police official said. "They will be serving alcohol, so we're going to watch the alcohol issues very closely and make sure there's no over serving."

There were also text messaging boards for all ages, so that as long as you have a cell phone, thousands could see your message.

"So if you want to say hello to somebody," Catani said, "if you want to say happy birthday to U.S. Cellular, if you want to say will you marry me?"

Or if you just want to say...

"I love rock and roll!"

The gates close at nine o'clock tonight, so you still have a few more hours left to stop by if they haven't reached the ten-thousand person capacity yet.


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