Chattanooga’s RiverRocks Brings Fall Fun to Tennessee

It’s time to jump into RiverRocks. Don’t worry. It won’t hurt. In fact, it’s a lot of fun.

RiverRocks is just beginning its third year in Chattanooga. The festival starts in earnest Oct. 5—although a couple events have happened already – and runs through Oct. 14 at numerous locations around the city.

Organizers say RiverRocks has grown to more than 100 events. The list runs as long as the Tennessee River where much of the activity is focused. So try kayaking, yoga, bike riding, nature walking and rock climbing. View hot air balloons, outdoor concerts, art exhibits and Civil War sites. Eat great food, sip fine wine, and … well, you get the idea.

I’m a sucker for the hot air balloons myself. I like to watch the “glow” when they fire them up on the ground; then, of course, when the colorful crafts fill the sky you can’t beat it. Several balloon events are planned during the 10-day festival run, so check the schedule on the website linked above.

I’m really intrigued by the grand finale on Oct. 13. It’s a concert with a twist. In addition to a handful of Tennessee-based bands performing, recording artists Secret Sisters, a traditional American country duo, will take the stage. The twist part comes when the city shows off the “Chattanooga Gig,” a one gig-per-second Internet system that operates about 200 times faster than the ones most of us use. So you ask, what’s cool about that? Well, the plan is to use that speedy connection to have legendary musician, composer and producer T Bone Burnett perform on stage with the Secret Sisters, more or less. He’ll actually be on a video screen from Los Angeles, singing and playing along. So, will that be a duet duet? This I have to see.

The show caps a big day that will also include “The Big Picnic” which runs from noon until 8 p.m. and features locally produced food and chef Eric Taslimi manning the grill.

Artist Andrew Nigh will again send one of his masterpieces up in flames as he presents a “sculpture burn.” He spends several days building his 14-foot-high work of art in Coolidge Park only to torch the whole thing on the night of the 13th.

Mike and Stormy McGauley came up with the idea for RiverRocks in 2010 as a festival designed to bring people together, but also a way to raise funds for eight land conservancies in the Chattanooga area. They couldn’t have picked a better spot and a better way to display a city that’s booming as a tourist destination.

There is so much to see during RiverRocks’ run with many events going on at the same time. Does anyone out there have a can’t-miss event you’d like to suggest? Please share with the rest of us.

 All images appear courtesy of RiverRocks. 

Hi! I’m Linda Lange. As a travel writer living in Knoxville, I fully appreciate barbecue, bluegrass and Dollywood. My...Read on




    up up an away in my beautiful balloon

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