BARRY COURTER: Lisa, you and I have done this a long time, but I don't remember the first week of December ever being this busy, and I'm not just talking about shopping for the holidays. I suppose that's part of it, but holy-nonexistent-snow-event, there are a lot of things happening.
Where to start: The Screaming Females, a new favorite just because I like old-school punk and lead guitarist Marisa Paternoster rips it up, and she can sing, and I like her look, are at JJ's Bohemia tonight. Arguably the world's greatest bass player, Victor Wooten, will be joined by his brothers Wednesday at Track 29, and Scenic City Roots returns there on Thursday. Performing will be Bombadil, Smooth Dialects and Della Mae, and host Jim Lauderdale will be one of the featured performers this month.
LISA DENTON: There's definitely a lot going on -- and you didn't even mention anything Christmas-related. Like Chattanooga Market's three-weekend Holiday Market at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Like Ruby Red Christmas -- with sleigh rides in the snow -- at Ruby Falls. Like the Chattanooga Boys Choir's Singing Christmas Tree at the Tivoli. And those are just the things happening or starting this weekend.
There's The Hilltop Christmas in Harrison, Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City and holiday movies at the Imax that are already underway.
Oh, and don't forget that one of the biggest celebrations of the year on the Southside is this weekend. MainX24 starts Saturday and runs 24 hours through Sunday. They've got everything from a parade to Big Wheel races to a chili cook-off. The chili alone is enough to get me there.
BARRY: See, I told you it was a busy week.
My goal this year is to buy as many gifts for people from local artisans and vendors, and the Holiday Market and MainX24 are going to make that fairly easy. I bought a lot of things last year at the market, and wish I had planned to do so earlier. It offers one giant room full of all kinds of unique and unusual gifts from home decor to clothing to art. And I don't have to fight traffic. You can't beat that with a giant candy cane.
Kudos to the MainX24 folks for creating such a great event, but to be fair, many of them are the guys that put on most of our cool downtown events. It's like attending a party at the party planners' house.
LISA: True, but that's the reason some parties are not to be missed. Or as Barney Stinson would say on "How I Met Your Mother": They're "legen -- wait for it, and I hope you're not lactose-intolerant -- dary."
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Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.
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 ...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.