published Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Get Off the couch: Plenty of places around Chattanooga for fun on the 4th of July

Will you shoot fireworks on the Fourth?

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I know you bought your lakefront property up in Soddy-Daisy because of the year-round view, but this week is special for you, isn't it? You become the center of the universe even more so than usual, right?

LISA DENTON: Well, it's lakefront property if you don't count a road, some woods, a parking lot, a fire hall and a highway between my house and the lake. But, yeah, my house is a very, very, very fine house for Soddy-Daisy's big Fourth of July shebang. If not for those woods, I could watch the fireworks show from my front porch. Everything going on at the park Wednesday is within walking distance.

The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 942, is in charge of the festival. You can go to a car show, watch the firemen's muster, listen to music and eat your fill of barbecue, hamburgers and hot dogs. And this year, the vets are hosting a fish fry in the Community Center. It ought to be a fun time.

Signal Mountain will have its annual Independence Day bash on Wednesday, too. But you can start your celebration early with a couple of concerts Tuesday. The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will be at Coolidge Park, and the East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra will be at the Collegedale Greenway. Whichever you choose (they both start at 8), it's a safe bet you'll hear the "1812 Overture."

BARRY: Sitting in Coolidge Park listening to Tchaikovsky's masterpiece with timely fireworks exploding over the river is pretty special. If you bring along a well-stocked (wink-wink) picnic basket, it can be dang near perfect. I do wonder if the Lookouts' fireworks will come into play again this year as they did last year.

LISA: That does seem to be peculiar timing. Fireworks the same night just blocks apart. I guess you could count that as two shows in one. The Lookouts game starts at 6:15 Tuesday night, but it's anybody's guess what time the last out will come. A trip to AT&T Field is not a bad way to celebrate either. Baseball, hot dogs, fireworks -- that's an all-American combo.

BARRY: I hate to harsh anyone's mellow, but I really hope people who bought their own fireworks will be especially careful. As hot and dry as it's been, nothing would ruin a good family gathering like a bottle rocket in the trees or on the roof or in a gutter full of dry leaves. It wouldn't take much to light up a whole neighborhood.

Get event details every Friday in Current or at

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

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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