Wednesday, November 27, 2013

2013 Holiday or Christmas Parades around Chattanooga

2012 Lighted Boat Parade by Brad Snoke
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone. This year, 2013, there are numerous parades for everyone to enjoy. I will admit December 7th seems to be the popular date for parades. Everyone needs to check out the Ooltewah-Collegedale parade this year. They are having a few TV stars to march. The Ooltewah High School band will be fresh from their trip to New York where they marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. GO Ooltewah!

November 29, 2013
Chattanooga, TN—Grand Illumination and Lighted Boat Parade will begin at 7:00 with a fireworks display at the end. The Lighted Boat Parade will take place between Veterans Memorial and the Olgiati Bridges. Check out my pictures from last year’s parade.

December 1, 2013
Soddy Daisy-the Christmas Parade will start at Harrison Lane at 2:00 pm.

Ooltewah-Collegedale—Spirit of Christmas at 3:00pm. The Ooltewah High School band will be marching even though they just got back from marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Ooltewah High School Color Guard 2012
by Brad Snoke

December 5, 2013
Dalton, GA—Dreams of Christmas will begin at 6:00 pm.

December 6, 2013
Red Bank, TN—Annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting will begin at 6:30 pm.
Ringgold, GA—Downhome Christmas Parade begins at 6:00pm.

December 7, 2013
Copperhill, TN—86th Annual Copperhill Kiwanis Christmas Parade begins at 2 pm.
Murphy, NC—The Hometown Christmas Parade in Downtown Murphy, the events begin at 2:00 pm.
Dayton, TN—Christmas at the Courthouse Horse & Carriage Parade will begin at 4:30 pm.
Cleveland, TN—Main Street Cleveland’s Annual Christmas Parade begins at Bradley High School at 6:00 pm.
Fort Oglethorpe, GA –The Christmas Express Parade will start in the Radio Shack parking lot at 6 pm.

December 14, 2013 
Chattanooga, TN--The Holiday Starlight Parade begins at 6 pm at the corner of 5th and Market. Last year’s parade was great. Here are the pictures to prove it.

If you have a parade to add to this list feel free to put it in the commits sections and I will add it to the list.  Thanks for stopping by.

Lighted Christmas Tree by Brad Snoke

Monday, October 7, 2013

Paranormal Journeys-A book review

October in the Tennessee Valley means it is time for hayrides, bon fires and ghostly tours of haunted places. If you are one of those people who prefer real haunted sites over the make-shift haunted houses of today’s Halloween, then I have the perfect book for you. Paranormal Journeys by Paul Cagle and Robert Freese discusses some of the most haunted places in the Chattanooga area and the personal experiences that have occurred at each of these locations.
Memorial Park is investigated in "Paranormal Journeys"

Paul Cagle grew up in a haunted house in Dunlap, Tennessee. Due to the paranormal experiences he had as a child, Paul co-founded the SouthEastern Paranormal Society (SEPS) in 2006. SEPS began to investigate the known haunted areas around Chattanooga hoping to learn more about paranormal activities. During the course of his investigations and search for knowledge, Paul came in contact with an author, Robert Freese, who offered Paul the chance to co-write a book concerning his local, Chattanooga investigations. Paul jumped at the chance, and Paranormal Journeys was birthed.

"They lurk in the darkest corners of a forgotten cemetery, within the shadows of a forlorn country hotel, among the swaying branches surrounding Devil Worshippers Mountain and inside the long corridors of an abandoned hospital. They are watching us, trying to make contact from the other side. They exist within a world between ours and the next. Take this journey with paranormal investigator Paul Cagle as he encounters supernatural phenomena while searching for the ultimate truth. It is a journey you will never forget."
Paranormal Society; excerpt from cover.

Some of the ghostly places covered in Paranormal Journeys include the Old South Pittsburg Hospital where phantom footsteps still walk. The Walking Horse Hotel and Memorial Gardens where various EVPs(Electronic Voice Phenomenon) and visual sightings of apparitions have appeared.  The story of a ghostly bride who still waits at the altar for her long, gone groom at the Patton Chapel is retold, and possible experienced in this book. The stories of this nature continue throughout the book providing chills and, at times, laughter (at some of the antics that occurred during the investigations).

This is a delightful book for readers and non-readers alike. It is the perfect mixture ghost stories, historical information and paranormal investigations all about Chattanooga and the surrounding area. The book is available in paperback and on the Kindle through Amazon. To purchase Paranormal Journey by Paul Cagle and Robert Freese, click here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Haunted Houses in Chattanooga-2013

Blowing Screams Farm
271 Chattanooga Valley Road, Flintstone, GA 30725

Blowing Springs Farm is a haunted attraction that features outside activities such as haunted woods, dark swamps, bonfires, nighttime hayrides and roaming monsters. Other activities include a Kids Pumpkin Patch Maze, Black Forest Makeovers, and a Coca-Cola Playground. The Forest of Fear and Ghost Ride are the main attractions.

Halloween Pumpkin by Dusty Snoke
Dates: Opening day is Saturday, September 28, 2013. Blowing Springs Farm is open every Friday and Saturday in October from dark (around 7pm) till the last victim screams

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased online.  An All You Can Scream Pass is $45 (website says $25 but when you go to purchase ticket it says $45) and includes unlimited admission to haunt. General admission tickets for Blowing Screams Farm (includes the Forest of Fear and Ghost Ride) are $16.00.

Information: Blowing Screams Farm website.

Sir Goony Haunted Carnival
5918 Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421

Voted Best Overall Haunted House by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Sir Goony’s Haunted Carnival brings 17 years of experience to their newest show “Zombie Circus”. The show features animatronics, special effects, 30 fear engineers and a professional light and sound design.

Dates: Opening day is Friday, September 27, 2013. The frights continue every Friday and Saturday through October along with October 20, 27, 30 and 31.Tickets go on sale at 7 pm and the nightmare begins at 7:30.

Tickets: $20 per adult. Includes the Castle Nightmare plus 19 holes of haunted golf, go karts, batting cage tokens and a $5 Papa John’s Pizza Gift Card.

Carving the pumpkin
by Dusty Snoke

Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern
1720 South Scenic Highway, Chattanooga, TN 37409

Ruby Falls Haunted Caven was voted Top 10 in Nation by Rand McNally. This haunt involves the cave, a bus and a top haunt so where comfortable clothes and shoes. The shoes should be closed toe, no sandals or flip flops. It will take around 45 minutes to complete the full trip.

Dates: Friday, September 27, 2013 is opening day for the Haunted Cavern. The Cavern will be open every Friday and Saturday from Sept. 27 to November 2. There are a few extra fright nights that include every Sunday in October and Thursday, October 31 (of course)J.

Tickets: Range in price from $23.00 to $17.00. A couple of hints…buy your ticket online and go on a Sunday.

Information: Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern webpage

The Haunted Hilltop
8235 Hwy 58, Harrison, TN 37341

The Haunted Hilltop offers Halloween fun for everyone whether you like haunted houses or just a bonfire and scary movie. For one low price, visitors can enjoy a huge haunted house, a dark maze, a long haunted hayride through woods and a cornfield along with scary movies playing on an outdoor tv. While waiting to enjoy the hayride or haunted house, purchase some concessions and eat around the bonfire. New this year is the longest vortex tunnel in the south and many new state of the art animatronics.

Dates: September 27th and 28th is opening weekend. After that The Haunted Hilltop is open every Friday and Saturday until November 1st including Thursday, October 21, 2013. Times are 7 till midnight opening weekend and 7pm till 1am for the rest of the season.

Tickets: Tickets are $20 for everything or $10 for each attraction. Tickets may be purchased online through paypal.  

Information: The Haunted Hilltop website

The Haunted Barn
5017 McDonald Road, McDonald, TN 37353

18 years of creating haunted fun makes The Haunted Barn a must see this year. The Haunted Barn is a 16-room dark maze that victims, oops, I mean visitors walk through. Along with the barn there is a bonfire, concessions and a spooky graveyard. The Haunted Barn uses a number system so there are no lines to wait in but be careful on your walk to the barn, rumor has it that monsters are waiting on you.

Dates: Opened every Friday and Saturday in October including Halloween and November 1 and 2. Gates open at 7 and the last ticket is sold at Midnight.

Tickets: Tickets are $18 for admission to the barn. All major credit cards are accepted.

Finishing the pumpkin
Dusty Snoke
Ringgold Haunted Depot
155 Depot Street, Ringgold, GA 30736

What happens when scary meets historic? A haunted train depot of course! The historic Ringgold depot turns scary this October for three short weeks. Not only does the depot offer up a frightening load of horror, there are hayrides and ghost tours for the more timid members of your group. The prices are very reasonable and well worth it. I have visited this one a few times and have always enjoyed it.

Dates: Final three Fridays and Saturdays in October starting at 7:00 pm

Tickets: The hay ride is $3, the ghost tour and the haunted depot are $5 each.

Lake Whinnepespookah
1730 Lakeview Drive, Rossville, GA 30741

Chattanooga’s favorite, fun-time spot is going to the ghost and ghouls this October.  According to their website guests can “enjoy an atmosfear of haunted rides, eerie edibles and screaming thrills throughout this spooktacular Halloween event”.

Dates: Every Friday and Saturday in October. Just a little note: on October 4, they will be shooting fireworks.

Tickets: An Unlimited Rides pass is $26 (water park is closed). Other packages are available.

Information: Lake Winnie website

Acres of Darkness
900 North Sanctuary Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421

The Chattanooga Audubon Society opens two trails for a scary night in the woods. One trail is for kids and the faint of heart. The other is for those who dare to enter extreme dangers in the Haunted Woods. On the extreme trail you meet up with local legends and the natural dangers that haunt the woods at night. Bonfires, face painting, pumpkin decorating and a black light maze are available also.

Dates: Every Friday and Saturday between October 18 and October 26, from 8-11

Tickets: This is a fundraiser for the Audubon Society.

Mystery Dog Ranch
975 Wooten Road, Ringgold GA

Support the HOZHO Therapeutic Equestrian Services, a nonprofit riding program used by special needs children and adults (including veterans), by visiting Mystery Dog Ranch this October. Their “Home of the Dead” ghost town and hayride are sure to leave you shaking in your boots.

Dates: Last three Fridays and Saturdays in October. Ghost town opens at 7:00; hayride begins at Dark

Tickets: Admission is $10 with proceeds benefitting HOZHO Therapeutic Equestrian Services.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Chattanooga history for September

Chattanooga remembers 9-11 victims on 9-11-11
Credit Brad Snoke
September is a full month of historical happenings for Chattanooga and the surrounding area. Between the Civil War events, including the Battle of Chickamauga, and the births and deaths of famous Chattanoogans, we have a busy month. Read on to discover what other interesting things happened in Chattanooga during the month of September.

This day in Chattanooga’s history for September…

1st 1873, The Chattanooga Daily Commercial was established. It would eventually become the Chattanooga Weekly Commercial, with publication lasting until February 10, 1888. 

2nd 1885, An African-American militia unit and drill team, the Chattanooga Light Infantry, was composed of 36 members. They received new uniforms on this day.

3rd 1868, William L. Frierson, mayor of Chattanooga from 1905 to 1907, was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

5th 2011, Most rainfall in one day was recorded at 9.49” per NOAA website.

Living historians march at Chickamauga Battlefield
Credit: Brad Snoke
8th 1863, Confederate General Bragg (1817-1876) evacuated Chattanooga allowing Union General Rosecrans to enter the city.

9th 1863, Federal troops under the leadership of Union General William Rosecrans occupied Chattanooga with little resistance. Wilder’s Lightening Brigade enters Chattanooga.

9th 2007, Small Twin turboprop plane ran out of fuel and crashed into the parking lot of Brainerd Village (2000 feet from runway). The plane ran into 2 parked cars, a telephone pole and one car traveling down Brainerd Road. No one was killed in the incident.

11th 2001, The terrorist attack on the twin towers touches Chattanooga and the country as a whole.

12th 1893, Baylor School opens

12th 1906, Girls Preparatory School opens

14th 1840, Future Mayor Henry Frederick Temple was born in Utica, New York. He was elected during 1880 and volunteered to serve without a salary.

15th 1851, JW White, a prominent African-American lawyer, was born in Cherokee County, Alabama. White served Chattanooga’s public as a Justice of the Peace, an alderman, and a tax assessor.

15th 1886, UTC opened its doors as Chattanooga University with 8 faculty members and 140 students.

19th 1862, Union Maj. Gen. Rosecrans and Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg begin a battle that would become the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War and the Union’s most significant defeat—The Battle of Chickamauga.

19th 1895, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park was dedicated as the first National Military Park in the United Sates.

Native American images on Chattanooga's riverfront.
Credit: Brad Snoke
20th 1782, John Sevier’s militia defeated the Cherokee on Lookout Mountain. This defeat led to the destruction of the Chickamauga towns in this area. It also caused the evacuation of Chief Dragging Canoe (1738-1792) and the Cherokees to the west and south.

20th 1842, GW Sewell, an African-American that was active in Chattanooga’s politics, was born in Shelby County. Sewell was a Chattanooga barber who served as a Justice of the Peace for Hamilton County Court, an alderman in 1871 and a Federal Court Cryer in Hamilton County for 20 years.

20th 1863, Confederates score victory at the Battle of Chickamauga at a cost of 18,454 in casualties and losses. This compares to 16,170 in casualties and losses for the Union.

23rd 1863, Due to the heavy Union losses during the Battle of Chickamauga, Lincoln dispatched General Joseph Hooker and 23,000 men from Army of Potomac.

24th 1963, Mayor Ralph H. Kelley declared all city facilities, including public buildings, parks, playgrounds, golf courses, swimming pools and community centers,  “open to all”. This action spearheaded Chattanooga into the desegregation movement.

26th 1937- Chattanooga’s Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith, died at age 43. During the 1920’s Bessie Smith was the highest paid African-American entertainer of the day.

28th 1863 Union generals Alexander M. McCook and Thomas Crittenden are blamed for Chickamauga defeat and lose their command.

29th 1863 Ulysses S. Grant ordered by Abraham Lincoln to Chattanooga. Grant relieves Rosecrans of his duty and takes command of the Union Army in Chattanooga.

Bikes in front of Outdoor Chattanooga
Credit: Brad Snoke
September 2004 City appoints Rob Healy as the first-ever executive director of Outdoor Chattanooga, an organization that promotes outdoor recreation.

September 2010 EPB offers the fastest internet service in the United States (a gigabit a second).

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Georgia Winery-The Tour

Georgia Winery by Brad Snoke
Georgia Winery, located at 6469 Battlefield Parkway, is well-known for their spectacular events and wine tasting. One day, my husband and I stopped by when they were conducting free tours with music and free wine tasting. We had a great time and want to thank the Georgia Winery for providing us with something a bit different to do.

Adrian, the grandson of founder, Dr. Maurice Rawlings, was our tour guide and informant extraordinaire. The tour began in the back processing area where we learned how the grapes were grown, processed into wine, bottled and labeled. We, then, toured the event center and the Vineyard Garden where wedding ceremonies are held. Each area was explained in detail and questions were answered thoroughly.  After the tour, we looked around the gift shop and tasted some very superb wine. The gift shop was full of unique gifts that ranged from gourmet cheese, to chocolate, to wine accessories.
Wedding Area at Georgia Winery by Brad Snoke

During our tour, it we discovered that The Georgia Winery practices a few procedures that are very admirable.  First, they bottle the wine by hand instead of machine, helping to keep people employed during this hard economic time. Second, they grow all their muscadines organically. There are neither pesticides nor chemical fertilizers used. In the beginning, the Rawlings family attempted to grow grapes similar to the Concord, but they had to spray chemicals every 10 days to help the grapes to grow here. Once they discovered muscadines grew easily and without chemicals, they rearranged their plans to match Mother Nature’s plan.

All in all, our time at the Georgia winery was enjoyable, romantic and informative. I would highly recommend stopping in and enjoy their tours, wine and gift shop. Whether you are a couple looking for a romantic date or a group of women ready for a girl’s night out, I guarantee the Georgia Winery will have an event for you. They are open Monday-Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. For a listing of upcoming events, check out their calendar.
Flower at Georgia Winery by Brad Snoke

Monday, July 29, 2013

2013 Tax Free Weekend in Chattanooga

Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday
The first day of school for Hamilton County is August 8, 2013. Any good shopper knows that Tennessee’s Tax Free weekend is usually right before school starts and this year is no exception. For 2013, it begins on Friday, August 2nd at 12:01am and will end on Sunday, August 4th at 11:59pm. Many of the local stores will be open for special hours that weekend. Also, most will have unbelievable deals. So make sure you take advantage of the sales in combination with the savings on sales tax. Below is a listing of the stores and their hours for this exciting weekend.

There are a few rules, as always when the government is involved, so be sure you know them before hitting the sales to ensure a hassle free experience.  A quick overview of the rules is listed below the store hours.

Stores and hours for Tennessee Tax Free Weekend (Friday, Aug 2-Sunday, Aug 4)

  • Hamilton Place Mall, Friday and Saturday 9:00am to 10:00pm, Sunday 11:00am to 7:00pm
  • Old Navy, Friday and Saturday 7:00am to 10:00pm, Sunday 10:00am to 8:00pm
  • Kohls, Friday and Saturday 9:00am to 11:00pm, Sunday 9:00am to 9:00pm
  • Staples, Friday 8:00am to 9:00pm, Saturday 9:00am to 9:00pm, Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm (Staples is advertising a few penny items with a minimum $5.00 purchase)
  • Office Depot, Friday 8:00am to 10:00pm, Saturday 9:00am to 10:00pm, Sunday 10:00am to 8:00pm
  • Sports Academy, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8:00am to 10pm
  • Payless, Friday and Saturday 10:00am to 9:00pm, Sunday 12:30am to 5:30pm
  • Target, Friday and Saturday 800am to 11:00pm, Sunday 8:10am to 10:00pm
  • Walmart, Open 24 hours

Rules and Regulations

Items that are tax free include:

$100 or less per item.
Items such as shoes, belts, pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, socks, underwear, hats, ties and coats are eligible.
Items such as accessories, jewelry, sports or recreational equipment or clothes worn for a trade or business are exempt from tax-free.

School Supplies:
$100 or less per item
Includes typical school supplies, lunch boxes and art supplies
Not included are computer equipment, such as compact discs, ink cartridges, printers, instructional material and reference books.

Includes laptops, desk and tablet computers
Does not include computer parts, PDAs, storage media, video game consoles and printers.

For all tax exempt items, there is no requirement that purchases be made only for students. If an item is tax exempt, anyone may make the purchase tax–free.

For more information on tax exempt items, visit Tennessee's Dept of Revenue website.

Downtown Chattanooga by Brad Snoke

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chattanooga: Domino’s Pizza and iPoll

Sunset on Market Street Bridge
Chattanooga, TN by Brad Snoke
Today was a typical Monday so when I got home the last thing I wanted to do was cook fish and rice for supper. I was thinking that a quick and easy meal such as Kraft Velvetta Cheesy Dinners would be perfect. I really like the Nacho Supreme variety and had just caught them on bogo at Publix. My husband started questioning me about the redemption rules for iPoll (I will explain that one in a bit). I told him that he needed $25 to get any good stuff but not to get the Domino’s pizza card because I had two already. I thought he was going to jump out of his chair. He definitely wanted pizza for dinner tonight.
Time to Eat – A review of Domino’s Pizza

We went online to Domino’s website to order our pizzas. We chose their Medium 2-Topping Handmade Pan Pizzas for $7.99 each. Ordering was very easy and took only a couple of minutes. We noticed the advertisement for the special we wanted and hit the “Order now” button. We chose our toppings (pepperoni and mushroom for the first, double pep for the second) and the amount of sauce (extra of course). When it came time to pay, we just put in the code for my gift card and that was it. The last page was a bar that allowed you to watch your pizza’s progress. It actually documented who did what to the pizza and when they did it. It was really cool to know who was bringing the pizza and when they left the store.
Domino's handmade pizza by Brad Snoke

The pizzas arrived within 30 minutes (we only live a few miles from the pizza store) and were piping hot. The driver was friendly and appreciated the tip we gave him. We were overwhelmed by the look of the pizzas and had thought that heaven had arrived when we took our first bites. I must say that it was one of the best pizzas I have had in a long time. It was so delectable that we called the manager to compliment him. I will definitely order these again.

iPoll-Making money from home (sort of)

Now to explain the iPoll reference from earlier…I enjoy hobbies that work my brain (hence the online blogging) and I have many of them. One of them is online surveys. Online surveys are a great way to work the brain while sharing your thoughts on products, stores, and services. iPoll, in particular, is a website and mobile app that offers a variety of surveys for money. Once you reach a certain dollar amount ($10 is the lowest level), the money can then be turned into magazine subscriptions or gift cards. Better yet, if you do not need extra money or services you can donate your money to a wide variety of charities.  So far this year, I have earned $35 through paypal and $50 in Domino’s gift cards.

All in all this was a great Monday night in Chattanooga. What more could you ask for then free pizza that was absolutely fabulous. 

Sunset-Enterprise South Nature Park
Volkswagen Plant, Chattanooga by Brad Snoke 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting “Things to do in Chattanooga”.  This blog is where you can read up on all the fun and interesting things to do in Chattanooga.  Feel free to comment or tell your story about Chattanooga.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Chattanooga: Yard Sales, Redbox and the Times Free Press

Chattanooga Diary: 7-14-2013
Market Street Bridge and Chattanooga Skyline by Brad Snoke
I have made the decision to write an online diary about my boring, mundane life in Chattanooga. This strange idea was the outcome of two articles in the Chattanooga newspaper, the Times Free Press. One was an announcement of an upcoming project sponsored by the Times Free Press titled “Help us film a day of life in Chattanooga”. The Times Free Press was asking their readers to film one minute of their lives and upload it to YouTube. They will take the films and create a larger one about life in Chattanooga. The other article was “Vast war letter collection shows sacrifice”. This article by Gillian Flaccus announced the opening of a new center in Orange, California that will house over 90,000 wartime letters written by Americans participating in a variety of wars from the American Revolution to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both of these articles highlighted the idea that the details of everyday life can be interesting and of some importance. So as you can see, it is not that I am narcissistic and so self-absorbed that I think people today care about what I do or how I spend my time.  I do think that it will tell people what life in this town is like (both now and in the future) and just might help them decide that Chattanooga is a great place to live, work and play.

I determined to take advantage of the warm July weather this weekend and hit the yard sales that were about town. My original list consisted of sales in Ooltewah, East Brainerd, Cleveland and Ringgold. My husband and I started early with the East Brainerd sales and we purchased something at the first three sales we stopped by. When our stomachs started growling, we hit the Gunbarrel Chick-fil-a, which was wonderful as usual. One stop that was of particular interest was an estate sale at the old Brainerd Hills swimming pool across the street from Brown Acres Golf Course. I had seen this worn-out, empty building and swimming pool many times and was so interested in getting a closer look. For some reason, it always makes me think of the resort from “Dirty Dancing”. Strange, I know. We walked up the hill and made our way into the side area where the pool could still be seen. The lady hosting the sale had a large number of items that had been used by the swim club during its heyday. I purchased four wooden-looking salad bowls for a quarter-a-piece. I would have loved to see this place when it was being used.

Glass Bridge in Downtown Chattanooga by Brad Snoke
We decided to hit the sales in Ringgold, but after the first stop we decided it was time to call it a day. Since I had been looking for an old sheet (for my dog to lie on) and had not found one, we went to the Goodwill Store in East Ridge. I found exactly what I needed and of course we had to make reference to “popping tags” to the sales clerk. I am sure he rolled his eyes because you know that every other customer must say something about it. For those of you who do not know “popping tags” is a line from the hit song “Thrift Shop” by Maclkemore & Ryan Lewis.

The other highlight of the weekend was a movie marathon that included “Identity Thief”, “The Call” and “A Good Day to Die Hard”. We rented the movies from the RedBox at the Walgreens located on the corner of Gunbarrel and Shallowford Road, near Hamilton Place Mall. It was busy as usual but it did not take too long to get the movies. “Identity Theft” starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy was not as funny as I thought it would be but it was alright. I absolutely loved the scene where the Chattanooga skyline morphs into St. Louis’ skyline. “The Call” (Halle Berry) was fabulous. It has been a long time since I have been that frightened and the ending knocked me off my feet. It was perfect. “A Good Day to Die Hard” (Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney) was actually pretty good for an action adventure movie.

I finished up the weekend being a typical grownup doing chores and grocery shopping. I am hoping that next weekend will include a hike at the Nature Park at Enterprise South. We shall see what the weather and life brings.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting “Things to do in Chattanooga”.  This blog is where you can read up on all the fun and interesting things to do in Chattanooga.  Feel free to comment or tell your story about Chattanooga.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chattanooga’s 2013 July 4th Celebrations and Fireworks

Independence Day, Fourth of July and July 4 are just a few of the names given to the day Americans celebrate the founding of this great nation. Below is a list of celebrations across the Chattanooga area. Find one that suits you and have a great time honoring this special day. 
The  events that include fireworks are marked with an *. 
Please note: some of the events have been cancelled or rescheduled. The updated information is included. 
Credit: Brad Snoke
Friday, June 28, 2013

*Freedom Festival at LaFayette, GA. Fireworks, family fun, food and fantastic music are the theme for this annual Freedom Festival. The times are 6-10 p.m. at the municipal park on 638 S. Main St. Following the music, fireworks will begin around 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

*Coolidge Park – Chattanooga “2013 Pops on the River”. This is a free concert by the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Orchestra and Fireworks. The concert will begin at 8:00 and fireworks will follow afterwards, around 9:45. Free shuttles are provided from UNUM parking lots on 4th and 5th street to Coolidge Park from 6:00 till 11:00. UPDATE: Will occur as planned. The concert will only be canceled for extreme weather. Fireworks will only be canceled due to pouring rain.

*Ft. Oglethorpe Polo Fields -- Ft. Oglethorpe GA. “Patriotism at the Post” will be held at Barnhardt Circle. Park is $5.00 per car. Children’s events begin at 7:30.  Fireworks begin at 9:00. UPDATE: Canceled with no plans to reschedule. 

*Collegedale Greenway at the Veteran’s Memorial ParkCollegedale, TN - Collegedale’s Annual Fireworks Display and Concert. The concert will begin at 7:00pm. Fireworks will follow at dark. UPDATERescheduled due to inclement weather* New date is September 1, 2013.

Credit: Brad Snoke
Thursday, July 4, 2013

*AT&T Field – Downtown Chattanooga, Lookouts vs Jacksonville Suns. Fireworks will occur after the game.

*Lake Winnepesaukah – Rossville, GA. The Spectacular Fireworks Display will start at 10:00. The fireworks will be shot over the water creating a fantastic display that has become a Lake Winnie tradition. Park admission fees apply.

*Bradley Square Mall – Cleveland, TN Mount Olive Ministries will set off a spectacular set of fireworks at 9:30 at the Bradley Square Mall. Best of all the stores will stay open late with special promotions. Larry Hill Ford and Larry Hill Imports are the sponsors of this year’s fireworks show.

*L & N Depot – Etowah, TN Etowah Old Fashion Fourth of July Celebration begins at 7:30am and lasts until 11:00pm.

*South Pittsburg – South Pittsburg, TN at Playground Paradise/South Pittsburg Pool from 11am to 9:00 pm. Entertainment begins at 6:00 CDT. Fireworks begin at 9:00 CDT.

*Soddy Daisy Lake – Soddy Daisy, TN 4th of July celebration begins at 9am at Soddy Lake and ends with fireworks at dark. There will be a car show, arts, crafts, food, fun and a lot more. UPDATE: Canceled due to weather. Rescheduled for Oct. 5th in conjunction with the annual Pumpkin Festival.

*Signal Mountain - The Signal Mountain Lions' BBQ & Fireworks Display will be held on Thursday, July 4th at the playground behind the Signal Mountain Golf & Country Club from 11:00AM until the barbecue is gone to be followed by a fireworks display that will begin at dusk.
Credit: Brad Snoke
Friday, July 5, 2013

*AT&T Field – Downtown Chattanooga, Lookouts vs Jacksonville Suns. Fireworks will occur after the game.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

*Lake Winnepesaukah – Rossville, GA, Spectacular Fireworks Display, starting at 10:00 the fireworks will be shot over the water creating a fantastic display that has become a Lake Winnie tradition. Park admission fees apply.

*Veteran’s Park - Spring City, TN, Shake the Lake.  This is an all-day event featuring live music, food, games, pageant, contests, duck race and fireworks at dark.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting “Things to do in Chattanooga”. This blog is where you can read up on all the fun and interesting things to do in Chattanooga.  Feel free to comment or tell your story about Chattanooga.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Valentine's Day Chattanooga 2013: Restaurant specials and more

Valentine’s Day 2013 is right around the corner and it is time to finalize those Valentine plans with your special someone. Whether you are looking for a special Valentine dinner or something a little different, the below list of Valentine specials has something for every couple.
Chattanooga’s romantic restaurants
Back Inn Café
411 East 2nd Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Back Inn Café is hosting their annual Valentine’s Wine Dinner on February 14th from 4 to 10 pm. This culinary delight is a six course meal where each course is paired with select wines chosen specifically for their ability to elicit the most in flavor profiles. Reservations are required for this $75.00 a person, six course meal. Please call: (423)265-5033x1. Remember Back Inn Café was voted Chattanooga’s most romantic restaurant in City Scope Magazine and Times Free Press.
Broad Street Grill
1202 South Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402 
Broad Street Grill’s 2013 Valentine menu consists of a four course meal with entrée choices for every palate, including Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Mushroom Stuffed Free Range Chicken Breast, Southern Seafood Grits and Carolina Shrimp and Sautéed Vegetable Risotto. They will also offer a Valentine’s Dessert Table that features a pink white chocolate waterfall. Reservations are a must for this two day special, Thursday, February 14th and Friday, February 15th.
Mt. Vernon Restaurant
3535 Broad St.
Chattanooga, TN 37409
“A Taste of Aphrodisiacs” is a sensational meal that consists of five courses of pure delight. The  dinner includes such delightful dishes as Roasted Oysters on the Half Shell, Special Arugula Salad, Lemon Sorbet, Filet Mignon and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with almond crumble and burgundy syrup. Reservations will not be accepted during this time.

Boats and Trains

4119 Cromwell Rd
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Enjoy a Valentine dinner on board a restored 1924 dining car. The dinner trains depart from Grand Junction Station at 5:30pm and 8:00pm. The train will travel at a leisurely pace through portions of urban Chattanooga passing Warner Park and the National Cemetery. Dinner is a four course meal with a variety of entrees. Pricing is only $120 a couple. Be sure to reserve a seat aboard TVRM Valentine Special on February 8, 9, 10 and 14.
Ross’ Landing
Take a ride on the Aquarium’s own “Love Boat” by enjoying a three-hour sunset cruise into the Grand Canyon of Tennessee.  The River Gorge Explorer will depart at 3:00pm on Saturday, February 16th with prices ranging from $29 to $41. Complimentary appetizers will be served. Cash bar is available for wine, beer and soft drinks. For those wanting an extraordinary Valentine’s Day, the Captains on the River Gorge Explorer are all ordained ministers so maybe this would be the perfect time to, as Beyonce would say “put a ring on it”.
The Southern Belle
201 Riverfront Parkway, Pier 2
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Enjoy Shrimp Cocktail, Prime Rib and Baby Bella Chicken in Alfredo Sauce while cruising the Tennessee River aboard the Southern Belle. Added to this delicious dinner is a split of Champagne, a special dessert and live entertainment. The dinner and cruise is only $55 a person, but for just $42 extra, you can receive a guaranteed window seat, a bottle of Champagne or Wine with 2 keepsake glasses and a photo packet. Reservations are required.
Unique ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day
Jungle of Love: Cocktails for Conservation 
1254 East 3rd Street
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Do you and your special sweetheart have a common love of all things animal? Well, this Valentine’s Gift is purrfect for you. Spend an evening at the Chattanooga Zoo sipping cocktails and learning about conservations efforts. Jungle of Love: Cocktails for Conservation will be held February 8 from 6 to 8 pm. Tickets are $30 and can be bought in advance or at the door.
Romance at Ruby Falls 
1720 South Scenic Hwy
Chattanooga, TN 37409
Take a special lantern tour of Ruby Falls this Valentine’s weekend. On February 15 and 16 at 8 pm, Ruby Falls becomes a Valentine fantasyland with a special tour, souvenir photo, hot chocolate and a gift. Learn the love story behind Leo Lambert and his wife, Ruby.  Tour is $55.95 per couple and is y reservation only.
Georgia Winery 
6469 Battlefield Parkway
Ringgold, GA 30736
Georgia Winery is offering two decadent events in celebration of Valentine’s Day. The first is their Wine and Chocolate Open house. This event is held every Saturday in February from 12 to 4 pm. Taste their fabulous Love Potion wine while indulging in a cascading chocolate fountain. There will be no charge for admission. The second event is a Wine & Chocolate Pairing Class held at 3 pm every Saturday in February. Dove Discoveries chocolates and award winning wines are paired up at a guided one hour class that includes a souvenir wine glass.
Bed and Breakfasts and Hotel Packages
Mayor's Mansion Inn
801 Vine Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Give you special someone the ultimate in Valentine gifts, two days at the Mayor’sMansion in 4-Diamond Luxury. Enjoy champagne, “ensuite” breakfast service, rose petal turn down and chocolate covered strawberries. Prices range from $349 to $589 and are only available from February 8 to February 16. Reservations are required.