Family Friendly Riverbend


The annual Riverbend Festival begins today! Riverbend has been a summer staple in Chattanooga for over 35 years. Most Chattanoogans are familiar with the annual eight-day event, and while “family friendly” might not be the first thought to come to mind when thinking of Riverbend, there are plenty of things to do for the whole family.

Here is some general information on admissions and events the entire family will enjoy:

General Festival Information

Admission: Wristbands for the entire festival are available for $60. One-day admission is $30, or $20 for senior adults and members of the military. Admission on Faith and Family Night, held on Tuesday, June 12th is $10. All children ages 10 and younger are FREE with a paying adult. 

Tokens: Tokens are used to purchase all food and beverages. Token Centers are located throughout the festival and sold at face value. They are good for all days of the festival and are non-refundable, but can be used for next year’s festival. 

Parking: Riverbend is location along the river in downtown Chattanooga. Plenty of paid parking is available throughout downtown. There is also a Park and Ride service for $1 per ride. Shuttle buses will be available from 4pm-12:14am each night of the festival, except for the Bessie Smith Strut. Some of the shuttle pick up locations are at Finley Stadium, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Warehouse Row and Chattanooga Convention Center. 

Handicapped Accessibility: Accessible parking is provided at the parking lot in front of the Tennessee Aquarium on Chestnut and Aquarium Way. Viewing areas are reserved at ground level of each stage and restroom facilities for the handicapped are available at each First Aid location. 

Lost Child: The “Lost Parents Tent” is located at the Main Gate at Aquarium Way and Chestnut Street.

Family Zone: The Family Zone is a smoke and alcohol free area located on the Riverfront Parkway behind the Aquarium. 

Family Friendly Events

Family Friendly Bands: 

  • Friday, June 8th — Courtney Daly & The Daly Grind. Chattanooga based classic Soul and Blues band with roots in Pop and R&B. UNUM STAGE
  • Saturday, June 9th — Shawn Cooley. Residing in Dunlap, TN his sound is derived from hip-hop and southern rock. His music has been written for all ages and is suitable for all of the family to enjoy. TVFCU STAGE
  • Sunday, June 10th –– The Collins Brothers. Fun and upbeat country music! UNUM STAGE
  • Monday, June 11th –– Bessie Smith Strut. A night of blues on MLK Blvd.
  • Tuesday, June 12th –– Switchfoot. An American alternative rock band that gained early successes in the Christian rock scene. COCA COLA STAGE
  • Wednesday June 13th –– Heather Gillis Band. Heather’s live shows are energetic and consist of her original music as well as rock, soul, and roots music.  TVFCU STAGE 
  • Thursday, June 14th –– AmeriCalypso. Original calypso melodies performed on authentic Carribbean Steel Pans, Cocktail Drum Set, topped with cascading flute and smooth R&B Vocals.  CHEVY STAGE
  • Friday, June 15th –– Rock Candy. Versatile seven-piece band that mainly plays rock and roll and some R&B tunes from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. UNUM STAGE
  • Saturday, June 16th –– Rock Skool Chattanooga. Music instruction program that teaches kids to master their instruments through private lessons, group rehearsals and live concerts! CHEVY STAGE

Riverbend Beach: Visit the Riverbend Beach on Riverfront Parkway above the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union Stage. Watch Team Sandtastic artists create a 220 ton sand sculpture. While visiting Riverbend Beach, register for a daily give-away and enjoy the children’s sand play area.

Children’s Village: Visit this Interactive Educational Playground for KIDS! Click here for the map. 

Holes to Go: Fun for the entire family, the Riverbend Festival will feature an 18 hole mini golf course located across from the main concessions area on Riverfront Parkway. The course is for all ages.

2018 CSMO Riverbend Run: This family friendly event offers something for everyone. The 5K and 10K races are this Saturday, June 9th beginning at 7:30am and offer cash awards for the top three overall male and female winners, and custom awards for the top three finishers in each age/gender category. The one-mile run/walk provides a non-competitive opportunity for individuals and families to run, walk or stroll. Post-race festivities include VIP Riverbend prizes and awards ceremony. Online registration has closed, but you can still register the day of beginning at 6:30am.

Faith & Family Night: Tuesday night of the festival features a family-friendly Christian lineup of performers. All alcohol sales are suspended for the night to allow families to enjoy contemporary Christian music in a slightly different environment. This year, Switchfoot will headline the night. Remember you can buy singe day admission this night for $10. 

Fireworks Finale: The festival wraps up with a huge fireworks display. You can see the fireworks for FREE from almost anywhere downtown and the Northshore. 

For more information about Riverbend 2018, please visit their website. Let us know of any family friendly events or things to do that I might have left out by leaving a comment!


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