It’s been a wild few years, and slowly but surely events are sprouting up! Chattanooga is coming alive with festival activities for late spring and summer.
Chattanooga is an event town. We love and embrace them all, no matter how weird they may be. With such beautiful spaces to spread out and put on a good concert or rally around something like bluegrass or pickles (yep, read ahead…), Chattanooga has something for just about every kind of enthusiast.
Check out all of the spring and summer festival options below!
First Horizon Pavilion, downtown Chattanooga
An essential part of Chattanooga’s creative capital, 4 Bridges Arts Festival (4BAF) will return to a live event this year! The 4 Bridges Arts Festival has cultivated and inspired an appreciation for the visual arts by creating opportunities for exchange between working artists and the public. The highly-anticipated, 4BAF is a juried art show that attracts visual artists from across the country and was ranked in the top 20 fine art festivals in the country. The festival showcases the distinctive talents of 140 artists and offers $20,000+ in cash awards.
Bessie Smith Cultural Center/MLK Boulevard
This two-day event is presented by the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and has been developed to highlight and preserve Chattanooga’s rich African American history, and to honor those who have made history and are continuing to make history.
Both days are free to attend and are family friendly. The Bessie Smith Cultural Center will have an art gallery on the lawn on Saturday, featuring art from local students who submitted their work for the Bessie Smith Cultural Center Art Contest.
Camp Jordan, East Ridge TN
Begun in 1999, Bug-a-Palüza has grown from a handful of enthusiasts spending a Sunday afternoon in the dealership parking lot to one of the largest annual VW events in the region.
Since 2008, Bug-a-Palüza has donated over $150,000 to the Ronald McDonald House, which goes to help local families of critically ill and injured children. Consider helping them even more by making a donation today!
Greenway Park and Pavilion, Cleveland, TN
Enjoy over 150 vendors, games, pony rides, petting zoo, food trucks, inflatables, trackless train rides, entertainment on stage and more! Poppea’s Children’s Boutique will be hosting a beauty pageant for kids – call 423.479.6116 for more info!
FREE ADMISSION! FREE PARKING! Rain or shine!
South Pittsburg, TN
Play games, ride carnival rides, and enjoy wandering through the booths that line the streets of historic South Pittsburg. Enjoy cornbread, handmade arts and crafts. Taste Southern, artisan treats like honey, fudge, and rock candies. The festival is packed with great family fun – including a Kid’s Corner with games, face painting, and inflatables!
First Horizon Pavilion, downtown Chattanooga
At Chattanooga Market, it’s either grown, baked, sewn or made by vendors as it’s a producer only market. They will be at a reduced capacity to allow for increased social distance. Please wear a face mask to attend. Admission is always free and check the other Chattanooga market locations around town.
And even better — most weeks are themed — from peaches to tomatoes and strawberries! Enjoy some homegrown and homemade goodies right in the middle of the city every Sunday.
Enjoy a large variety of food trucks, shop over 150 vendors, trackless train, petting zoo and pony rides, entertainment, and more! Free admission and free parking! Rain or shine!
May 7-8 and 14-15
Rock City, Lookout Mountain, GA
Come “see” Rock City in all of its spring glory! Meet members of the horticulture team and be a part of planting the gardens. Kids of all ages can enjoy educational make-and-take activities and learn what it takes to make a garden grow!
We have something fun for everyone! Pageant, parade, carnival, and more! Check the schedule to get more details on your favorite part of the Strawberry Festival.
4301 Amnicola Highway, Chattanooga TN
JFest serves two main purposes: to provide wholesome entertainment for the whole family and to evangelize those seeking hope.
Historic Downtown Ringgold GA
This small town street festival has been taking place for over 40 years. The event features food, arts, and crafts vendors, live music on multiple stages, a parade, classic car show, and a fireworks display Saturday night. Admission is FREE and all events are family friendly.
Each Friday starting May 27-September 2 (summer plans are still in progress)
Miller Plaza, Downtown Chattanooga
Nightfall is typically a free concert series held outdoors at Miller Plaza, rain or shine. Headlining acts begin at 8pm with local opening acts starting at 7pm. Last summer was virtual, but still showcased some great local talent. We can’t wait to hear what they have planned for this year!
A new Riverbend experience with loads of live music on various stages. Don’t forget the festival food!
The Little Owl Wildlife Festival is fun for all at Chattanooga’s oldest wildlife sanctuary! The event will feature guided nature hikes, art activities for kids, wildlife and demonstrations, and much more. Check back soon for updated information.
Ruby Falls, Lookout Mountain, GA
Ruby Falls celebrates National Day of Caves and Karst! Visit Ruby Falls during this annual event and take part in educational activities, meet special guests, and take home a complimentary keepsake. These activities are included in regular admission and increase awareness of the important role that caves and karst play in our lives and environment.
August 18 7-10pm
First Horizon Pavilion
20 of the best restaurants in the city will bring their A game and best margarita recipe for you to try. Enjoy live entertainment by local DJs, give all your friends FOMO on Instagram and Facebook at our Margarita Fest photo booth and enjoy some of Chattanooga’s tastiest food vendors. Not sure if you like your margs salted, shaken, stirred or frozen? Try them all and discover your favorite.
Coolidge Park, downtown Chattanooga
Chattanooga’s newest music festival, hosted by Drew and Ellie Holcomb. The festival boasts top notch acts in the scenic Coolidge Park. It’s a family friendly activity with kids stations as well! Tickets will be available soon!
Camp Jordan, East Ridge TN
Join us for the Chattanooga Taco Festival with over 150 vendors, food trucks, petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, trackless train rides, entertainment, TACOS and much more! FREE ADMISSION! FREE PARKING!
Athens Regional Park, Athens TN
Get ready to be Splashed and Fried as the Fried Pickle Festival celebrates another year of fun, and excitement! Wear your splash, water clothes, and bring your rubber ducks for fun, fun, fun! Art, craft, direct sales, and business vendors will be awaiting your business. Food vendors will be ready and waiting to take your orders for fried pickles and more! All food vendors are required to sell fried pickles at this event.
Enjoy a free music festival full of bluegrass, riverfront views, and food trucks! Sponsored by Fletcher Bright Realty, 3 Sisters Festival is a Chattanooga favorite and easily one of my favorites!
Which event(s) are you looking forward to the most? Did we miss one? Share with us in the comments!