Fall Festivals, Events, and Live Music
The lower temperatures make being outside much more enjoyable. Fall in Chattanooga is packed with a variety of fun including Wine Over Water Food & Wine Festival, 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival, Levitt AMP Chattanooga Music Series, Chattanooga Oktoberfest, Enchanted MAiZE, Haunted Cavern & Fear Connection, WinnepeSPOOKah!, Halloween Eerie Express, and Boo in the Zoo.
There’s also plenty of live music and entertainment at The Signal, Comedy Catch, Songbirds North & South Stages, Tivoli Theater, Memorial Auditorium, and at around 20 restaurants that offer live music on a weekly basis.
FESTIVALS AND LIVE MUSIC
Summer Music Weekends/Rock City ($)
From Rock City’s famous Lover’s Leap with the Seven States View, enjoy some of the best toe-tapping old time blue grass and folk country music by Matt Downer /Old Time Traveler, Highbeams, Amber Carrington, Ben Durham, and AM Radio. Grab a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade, dine at Cafe 7 serving southern cuisine with a modern twist, and check out the Rock City Raptors Birds of Prey shows in the Critter Classroom. Free with paid admission into the park.
Chattanooga River Market/Tennessee Aquarium Plaza (FREE)
Against the picturesque Tennessee River, the Chattanooga River Market features live music, special events each week, and handmade items from local and regional artists including jewelry, apparel, woodworks, and more. Free yoga class at 10 am (bring your own mat).
Chattanooga Market/First Tennessee Pavilion (FREE)
Now-Nov. 18/Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The weekly Chattanooga Market, an open-air producer-only market, features live music and entertainment, a major theme each week, local food truck eateries, fresh produce/meat/cheese and food artisan products as well as local arts & crafts such as photography, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, beauty products, and other handmade products.
Levitt AMP Chattanooga Music Series/Bessie Smith Cultural Center Lawn (FREE)
Enjoy the brand new Levitt AMP Chattanooga Music Series, a free, 10-week concert series with a diverse lineup of local, regional, and national artists. The series shines a light on the renowned musical heritage of the MLK District while reestablishing it as a thriving cultural destination. Patrons can enjoy local food vendors, special themes, and activities for children.
Chattanooga Beast Feast® BBQ Festival at the Chattanooga Market/First Tennessee Pavilion (FREE)
Beast Feast™ is a professional bar-b-que cook-off among the region’s best. Folks can enjoy a selection of various types of BBQ and vote on their favorite. This is a special event of the Chattanooga Market.
Noontunes Wednesday Music Series/Miller Plaza (FREE)
Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26; Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; Nov. 7/Wed., Noon-1 p.m.
Noontunes is a weekly, mid-day music series featuring incredible Chattanooga musicians. Each performance is live streamed; recorded and aired on WUTC 88.1; and includes a host who discusses with the artist their background and song selection, providing insight and knowledge rarely gleaned from a standard show. For the inaugural 2016 season, Noontunes included Rick Rushing, Amber Fults, The Bohannons, Courtney Reid, Kofi Mawuko, and more.
Moon River Music Festival feat. Avett Brothers, Head And The Heart, & More/Coolidge Park ($)
Moon River Music Festival is an exciting, family-friendly, two-day event highlighting the music and culture of Tennessee. Originally taking place in creator Drew Holcomb’s hometown of Memphis, Moon River has grown into an important and beloved institution in the Tennessee community. Now in its fourth year, Moon River will continue its celebrated tradition of bringing specially curated music lineups and community-focused experiences in its new location at Coolidge Park and will feature 20+ national acts, two stages, local food vendors, and more.
Railfest/Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum ($)
Enjoy this great two-day railroad celebration at the largest operating historical museum in the Southeast. Fun includes live music and entertainment, Missionary Ridge Local train ride, exhibits, petting zoo, moon walk, mini golf, blacksmith demonstrations, railroad displays not normally open for inspection, and lots of food.
Wine Over Water Food & Wine Festival/Walnut Street Bridge ($)
During the signature event, enjoy wine samples from more than 100 wineries, hors d’oeuvres, and live music while strolling across the historic Walnut Street Bridge. There are also several off-the-bridge events throughout the weekend. Proceeds benefit the preservation of historical properties in Chattanooga.
3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival/Downtown Riverfront (FREE)
Combining both traditional and contemporary bluegrass, this annual festival appeals to a wide age range and has featured some of the biggest names in bluegrass like Yonder Mountain String Band, Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, Dan Tyminski and Del McCoury.
RiverRocks is a multi-day event that brings world-class and amateur athletes to the Scenic City to compete and celebrate Chattanooga’s outdoor lifestyle and enjoy live music. Athletic events include rock climbing, trail running, kayaking, open water swimming, rowing, cycling, off-road biking, paddling and much more.
Rocktoberfest/Rock City ($)
Get in touch with Rock City’s German heritage during the annual Rocktoberfest as they celebrate and honor their founder, Frieda Utermoehlen Carter and their 86th anniversary. The Rock City Square will be transformed for a celebration of harvests and fall foliage with live German music, polka lessons, specialty beer, German food, costumed characters, and fun for the whole family.
CultureFest at the Chattanooga Market/First Tennessee Pavilion (FREE)
This family-friendly festival celebrates Chattanooga’s rich cultural diversity. Fun includes live music, Parade of Nations, performances by local cultural groups, multicultural fashion show, dance contest, ethnic food samples, cooking demonstrations, dance instructions, children’s activities, and more. Fun for all ages.
Chattanooga Oktoberfest/First Tennessee Pavilion ($/FREE)
Enjoy Chattanooga’s oldest and largest Oktoberfest celebration complete with brats and other German-inspired foods, four Bier Gartens featuring more than 100 craft brews, live music by the infamous Wurstbrats Oompah Band, shopping, and plenty of entertainment. Additional events include Artoberfest (Thurs.) and the Oktoberfest 5K Run (Sat.).
Halloween “Boo”ze Cruise/Southern Belle Riverboat ($)
Dress up for this frightful, two-hour moonlight cruise that takes you along the riverfront and around Maclellan Island and includes Halloween Treats, cash bar, costume contest, DJ, dancing, and more. Must be 21 or older.
Lodge Cast Iron Cook-off at the Chattanooga Market/First Tennessee Pavilion (FREE)
Local chefs battle it out live! Patrons have the opportunity to see recipes made with fresh foods bought that day at Chattanooga Market (weekly on Sundays) in an entertaining environment.This is a special event of the Chattanooga Market.
Chattanooga Lookouts Baseball Team/AT&T Field ($)
Get outside for a family-fun outing at the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Double-A affiliate team for the Minnesota Twins (2014). Individual game ticket prices range from just $4-$10. Special pricing is available for season passes, luxury suites, group outings, little league lineup and birthday parties.
Birds of Prey Show/Rock City ($)
Experience this unique and very entertaining Birds of Prey show that gives you the rare opportunity to witness some powerful and majestic birds up close.
Summerville Steam Special Train Trips -9 Hours/Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum ($)
Sept. 1, 15; Oct. 6, 13, 20, 21, 27, 28; Nov. 3, 10, 11/9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Hop on aboard a vintage train that follows a historic route from Grand Junction Station in Chattanooga to Summerville, Georgia and then back. There are a variety of cars and dining options. Explore the town of Summerville during the 75-minute layover. This is a great way to see the fall colors!
Copperhill Special Train Trips-8 hours/Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum ($)
Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; Oct. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27; Nov. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24/9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Take an extended day-trip excursion through the scenic lower Hiwassee River Gorge, over the Hiwassee Loop, and onto the joint cities of Copperhill, TN, and McCaysville, GA. Have lunch on your own during the 90-minute layover before returning to Etowah. Departs from Etowah, Tenn. not Chattanooga.
Hiwassee Loop Train Trips-3.5 Hours/Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum ($)
Sept. 2, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30; Oct. 4, 7, 11, 18, 24, 25; Nov. 1, 4, 11, 18, 25/1:30 p.m. departure
Oct. 14, 21, 28/9 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. departures
Enjoy a 50-mile round trip up the beautiful lower Hiwassee River Gorge and view the beautiful fall colors. This 3.5-hour trip will take you to the top of the famous "Hiwassee Loop" where the tracks cross over themselves as they corkscrew up the mountain near Farner, Tenn. Snack items/drinks available for purchase on the train. The train departs from Etowah, Tenn. not Chattanooga.
Missionary Ridge Local Train Trips-55 minutes/Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum ($)
Now-Dec./Daily trips offered the majority of year & run multiple times a day
The Missionary Ridge Local trip begins at Grand Junction Station and takes passengers through the scenic Tennessee Valley, along one of the original railroad lines in Chattanooga, over four bridges, through a pre-Civil War tunnel, to the locomotive rotating turntable, and back.
Serve and Protect Celebrity Cooking Show/Tennessee Aquarium ($)
Enjoy Chattanooga’s tastiest event with a live celebrity cooking show, an elegant seafood dinner prepared by some of Chattanooga’s top chefs and served in an Aquarium gallery, and mingling with the celebrity chefs over dessert.
Beastly Feast/Chattanooga Zoo ($)
Observe some of the Zoo’s most active animals displaying their naturalistic behaviors through eating a carcass dinner and learn why it is important for their survival. Carcass feedings provide nutritional benefits and enrichment and encourages sharing among species that hunt as a group. Food and beverages available for purchase.
Annual Wall of the Fallen Unveiling Ceremony/International Towing & Recovery Museum (FREE)
The annual Wall of the Fallen ceremony honors those men and women who lost their lives in the line of service. Since the memorial opened, 414 people have been remembered with a bronze plaque mounted within the memorial grounds. The Memorial, which stands in the parking lot of the museum, is topped with a sculpture of a hero tow truck driver that’s reaching down to pull people to safety from a sinking car.
6th Annual All Aboard for Sculpture Dinner & Train Ride/Sculpture Fields ($)
Catch the Tennessee Valley Museum train at the Sculpture Fields for an exciting four-course dinner and on a three-hour train ride. Guests begin the evening with cocktails and music in the park, board the train for dinner, and return for the Party in Park, an after-hours party in the park featuring live music, dancing, and a light show. Reservations required for train ride.
Hyperflite Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship/Coolidge Park (FREE)
More than 120 teams of the most talented canine athletes take to the skies to compete in the World Championship. This is the premier event in canine sports and features top teams from around the world competing in a menu of disciplines designed to showcase the talents of these amazing canine athletes.
Blowing Springs Farm featuring the Enchanted MAiZE/Blowing Springs Farm ($)
Enjoy 10-acres of fall family fun in the valley below Rock City’s Lover’s Leap. Activities include a corn maze, food, tractor-pulled hayrides, Kiddie Cow Train, pedal carts, face painting, pumpkin market, Corn Crib Station, and a Critter Corral where you can pet a miniature horse, potbellied pigs, sheep, and more. The Enchanted MAiZE is a “Top 20 Event” by Southeast Tourism Society.
Hamilton County Fair/Chester Frost Park (FREE)
The Hamilton County Fair kicks off the fall season!The fair features three stages with live music & entertainment, bungee jump, photo booth, roaming entertainers, antique car and tractor competition, home-centered flower & event show, historical & educational exhibits, games, arts & crafts, petting zoo, livestock & agriculture exhibits, equine demonstrations, shopping, and more. For a small fee, fairgoers are shuttled to the fair.
Little Debbie IRONMAN Chattanooga Triathlon/Downtown Riverfront (FREE to watch)
The Little Debbie IRONMAN Chattanooga is one of 11 full races in the IRONMAN U.S. Series. IRONMAN Chattanooga leads athletes through a 2.4-mile swim in the Tennessee River, 112-mile bike through the valley and 26.2-mile run on a course that utilizes a variety of Chattanooga's scenic areas. There will be a USD professional prize purse.
Dread Hollow ($)
The award-winning masterminds behind Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern bring you Dread Hollow – a town built on tainted soil. Make your way through this ill-fated town to the ghostly Belle Royale Hotel with its bone-chilling paranormal activity. Stumble into the seemingly idyllic Harley Farm where the depraved farmer reaps those who dare to trespass. Deep in the shadowy outskirts of Dread Hollow, you wander into the abandoned fairgrounds of the cursed Brine Bros. Circus, where the demented sideshow freaks beckon you to forever join them in their Cirque de Fatale. You can run, but there’s nowhere to hide from the sinister darkness covering 20,000+ square feet of pure horror with 3 haunts combined into 1 nightmare. We'll be waiting for you! Not recommended for children under 12.
Fall Color Lunch or Sightseeing Cruises/Chattanooga Riverboat Co.’s Southern Belle ($)
Sept. 30-Nov. 18, 2018/Daily, times vary
Cruise the Grand Canyon of the Tennessee River and see one of nature’s most brilliant displays of color. This three-hour cruise includes live entertainment, live narration of the historical sites along the river, Pilot House tours, buffet lunch, and free bingo with prizes.
ODDtober: When Nature is Stranger Than Fiction/Tennessee Aquarium ($)
During ODDtober, the Tennessee Aquarium celebrates the wonderful and weird creatures that have abilities and behaviors that seem even stranger than any legend or myth surrounding them. Get up close to some not-so-creepy crawlies that are way too cool to be scary. Daily programs include SCUBA divers carving pumpkins underwater (Saturdays) and AquaScarium (Oct. 27).
WinnepeSPOOKah!/Lake Winnepesaukah ($)
Guaranteed to scare the yell out of you, Lake WinnepeSPOOKah transforms into a hair-raising, terrifying atmosfear of fun. 40 haunted rides, eerie edibles, screaming thrills, Thriller Parade, terrifying treats, magic shows and dance teams.
Halloween Eerie Express/Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum ($)
Jump aboard the Halloween Eerie Express vintage train for a spooky, family-friendly round trip ride from Grand Junction Station to the Funhouse Station and back. The fun-filled journey includes storytelling, hot cider, black-light mini golf, costume contest, petting zoo, pony rides, and a tour through the “gentle thrills” Eerie Fun House, a 20-room, 2,000 square foot “old time” fun experience.
Boo in the Zoo/Chattanooga Zoo ($).
Join us for the annual family-oriented Halloween celebration with some of the Zoo’s most lovable animals. Children get to hang out with roaming cartoon characters, stop by trick-or-treat stations, enter costume contests, get crazy in bounce houses, take a pony ride, play games, get their face painted, go on a hay ride, and much more.
AquaScarium/Tennessee Aquarium ($)
Come in costume and celebrate a family-friendly night of spooky critters and yummy treats. Make friends with mermaids, lounge with lemurs, watch out for pirates, get your groove on at the Monster Mash dance party with some of the Aquarium’s lovable mascots, and enjoy candy stations throughout both buildings. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Haunted Hunter ($)
Gather up your friends for a spooky evening at the most haunted museum in town. The night will feature a trick or treat station, costume contest, cash bar, and music by DGSM DJs, Fit of Body, and Erika Glück, who are sure to get you on the dance floor. Don’t miss the unique opportunities to see a live torch painting demonstration by local artist Hollie Berry and exclusive haunted mansion experience by Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga! Costumes encouraged, must be 21+ to attend.
Sculpture in the Sky/Sculpture Fields (FREE)
Get ready for some high-flying family fun when the skies at the Sculpture Fields will be filled with colorful kites, stunt kites, Rokaku battle kites, and more. Visitors will enjoy parachute kite races, performances by Chattanooga Aerials, make-your-own-kite stations, local food trucks, and beer. The Sculpture Fields have partnered with the Scenic City Kite Club and River Rocks for this event.
Head of the Hooch Rowing Regatta/Downtown Riverfront (FREE)
Watch the Hooch from Chattanooga’s riverfront as nearly 10,000 rowers compete on the challenging course in the second largest rowing regatta in the America, after Head of the Charles. The Hooch celebrated 10 years in Chattanooga in 2014.
All fall events can be found on the Chattanooga Events Calendar.