published Monday, April 11th, 2011

4 Bridges Festival, beetles and barbecue


LISA DENTON: Barry, I hope you’re in a festive mood, because we are approaching a big weekend for spring festivals.

Next weekend, you can celebrate art during 4 Bridges at First Tennessee Pavilion, Beetles at Bug-A-Paluza at Camp Jordan, barbecue at High on the Hog in Winchester and the best of Sequatchie County at Valley Fest in Dunlap.

And there’ll be more to come, with the Mentone Rhododendron Festival and the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg later this month, and the Tennessee Strawberry Festival in Dayton and Finster Fest in Summerville following in early May.

BARRY COURTER: We should print up a festivals world tour T-shirt. Imagine trying to get all of that on the same shirt. “I survived the Finstercornbugstraw’cueartrhody tour.”

I kid, of course. All of these point out the many choices we have. Four Bridges has continued to grow and thrive at First Tennessee Pavilion since being plucked from the floods, literally, when it was at Coolidge Park. I’ve been to Bug-A-Paluza a couple of times, and it’s a lot of fun also. I leave there wishing I still had the VW fastback my brother and I shared in high school. Cool car. Remind me to tell you about the time the brakes went out, or the time I got it stuck in our driveway.

LISA: We could really make some money with these cool ideas we have. It makes me wonder why we’re still at the paper — probably the same thought a lot of our readers have. There might be a few kinks with the T-shirt though. A slogan that long would wrap around the shirt a couple of times.

This is also the week for Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s (Tuesday), the Harlem Globetrotters at McKenzie Arena (Wednesday) and the Conference on Southern Literature at the Tivoli (starting Thursday).

Tonight, though, I’m planning to go see my former Chattanooga Times co-worker Brian Hicks at the Bicentennial Library. Not just a reporter anymore, he’s a big-time author. He’ll be here to talk about his new book about John Ross, the Cherokees and the Trail of Tears called “Toward the Setting Sun.” I look forward to heckling — I mean hearing — what he has to say.

BARRY: The folks in the big Madison Avenue offices must have lost our phone numbers — again. Oh well, there’s no off button on these brains, right?

The Drive-By Truckers are at Rhythm & Brews on Tuesday also. That will be a great show.

Be sure and tell Brian that Goober says, “Hey.” His book is really good.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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