FYI / riverbend 2011

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As stagehands break down performance areas and clean up whatever garbage still litters the riverfront, there’s little to mark the nine-day Riverbend Festival but the lingering aroma of funnel cakes and chicken on a stick.

Rather than bemoan the unruly weather as he performed on the Tennessee Valley Credit Union Stage, Mark “Porkchop” Holder seized the opportunity to segue into a decidedly apropos song.

Dylan Liles remembers he was in sixth grade when he first heard Casting Crowns perform live.

There will be no pulpit on the Coca-Cola Stage at tonight’s Riverbend Festival, but expect a little preaching.

Blues. Barbecue. Brotherhood. All were cited as among the primary draws of the Bessie Smith Strut, which attracted thousands Monday.

As the first warm strains of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” resonated over the Riverbend crowd Sunday night, you could hear the long, collective exhale from the audience.

Chattanooga’s biggest party has grown over the past three decades into a $3.5 million, year-round business.

Long before they took the stage as the first headliner of the 30th annual Riverbend Festival, the Coca-Cola Stage lawn already was well saturated with stalwart fans of Huey Lewis and the News.

As a mobile disc jockey in Dalton, Ga., in 1986, current 107.9 Big FM program director Rick Zeisig said he snapped up the Huey Lewis and The News album “Fore!” just after its release and played the single “Hip To Be Square” for a high-school dance audience.

For three decades now, Riverbend has been the major event on Chattanooga’s extensive summer calendar of activities.

The 30th annual Riverbend festival kicked off Friday, drawing thousands of people to Chattanooga's waterfront.
  • June 10, 2011

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