published Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Man Up: Xpo for the manliest of men debuts - June 28

We've looked over the list of coming attractions at the Times Free Press Man Xpo, billed as Chattanooga's first manly man event. And though there's no mention of Chuck Norris or bacon, we have to admit we're impressed by the depth and scope of products and activities.

Weaponry. An eating contest. Cigars. Golf. Hunting. Fishing. Lawn mower races. Football. An echoing chorus of Tim Allen-style guttural grunts throughout the day.

OK, we're just imagining that last one. But it's hard not to think it won't happen.

Just those taking part include athletic and outdoorsy types, police officers and firefighters, an ESPN college football analyst. That's a lot of testosterone.

Which is exactly the point of the Man Xpo -- not just an "event for" but a "celebration of" manly men.

Here's an A-to-Z list of some of the highlights.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.


Axes and tomahawks. RMJ Tactical will showcase its line of tools and weapons, made for extreme use in extreme conditions. Customers range from elite law enforcement to search-and-rescue teams to avid outdoor enthusiasts.

File Photo by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


Bragging rights. Local police officers and firefighters will compete in a wing-eating contest to benefit the Forgotten Child Fund. Bart's Lakeshore Restaurant & Lounge will supply the victuals.

Facebook Photo


What: Man Xpo.

When: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 28.

Where: Finley Stadium and First Tennessee Pavilion, 1826 and 1829 Reggie White Blvd.

Admission: $10 men; free for women accompanying them; $5 kids.

Phone: 423-757-6498.



Cigars. East Main Street smoke shop Cigar Man will be among the vendors. Others include American Dudes, Brainerd Army Store, Carter Shooting Supply & Range, Chattanooga Fish-N-Fun, Hanover Blue, High Point Climbing and Fitness, Red Wing Shoes and Rock/Creek Outfitters.


Dr Pepper Challenge. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., test your passing skills by throwing as many footballs as you can through the Dr Pepper barrel in 30 seconds. The Top 10 qualifiers get a chance to compete in the head-to-head championship at 3 p.m. The winner receives $2,500 cash; the runner-up, $1,000.

Photo by ESPN


ESPN. The day's special guest is Kirk Herbstreit, star of the sports network's "College GameDay." From 1:30 to 3 p.m., fans can get a photo made at a re-created "College GameDay" desk. You'll be sitting with Herbstreit (you can call him Kirk) and holding a favorite team football. A Q&A with Herbstreit follows at 3:30 p.m. at Finley Stadium.


Food. Try some stick-to-your-ribs specialties from food vendors 1885 Grill, Abuelo's, Sticky Fingers and Tremont Tavern.


Google Glass. This trendy tech product is one of the door prizes. An optical computer within eyeglass-style frames, it works like a smartphone on steroids.

File Photo from Getty Images


Hole-in-one. Sink the perfect shot in the golf simulator, and win $10,000.


Instruments. Favorite local musicians will entertain throughout the day: Soul Mechanic at 11:30 a.m., The Bohannons at 1 p.m. and Roger Alan Wade & Sparkle Motion at 2:30 p.m.


Joyride. An action-packed NASCAR simulator with realistic graphics puts drivers through their paces.

Photo from


Kids. The Man Xpo is family-friendly, so kids are welcome too. Women get in free with their manly man. Kids pay half-price admission, and several activities are geared just for them, including a catfish pond, rock-climbing wall, junior dragster and pictures with costumed characters such as Spider-Man, Captain America and Black Widow. Dads may want to pose with the Marvel Comics heroine too.


Live catfish. The pond is stocked to test your fishing skills.


Man cave. Visit ours to explore the possibilities for your own off-limits sanctuary.


Need it. Trust us. You're going to see nice, new stuff you'll want to buy, so plan accordingly.


Obstacle course. You'll negotiate this one on lawn mowers.


Power tools. Northern Tool & Equipment will be the handyman's hangout.


Quench. Being a manly man is thirsty work, so quaff a few brews in Chattanooga Brewing Co.'s Craft Beer Garden.


Rugged refreshment. Sample the manliest contender in the soda wars, Dr Pepper Ten. If you've seen the marketing campaign, you know this is a diet drink that's "not for women." You could win a year's supply as a door prize.


"Sharp" shooting. Bucks2Beards Archery will bring real bows and arrows to let Xpo guests get in a little hunting practice "in a safe, controlled environment," says co-owner Jason Caldwell. The targets are 3-D, life-size animals. "They're made of self-healing foam," says Caldwell, "but it's going to look like a real bear or a real deer standing there."


Tennessee Titans cheerleaders. They're pretty, they smell good and they're posing for photos. Plus, game tickets will be awarded as a door prize.


UTC Athletics. Go, Mocs! Field activities at Finley Stadium include the chance to catch a punt.


Vehicle-palooza. Enough cars, trucks, boats and motorcycles to get a gearhead's motor running.


Woodcarving. With chainsaws. Enough said.


Xbox, Wii, PS3. A mobile video-game theater boasts the latest games from the biggest names. You'll play in air-conditioned comfort on wide-screen, high-definition TVs. The custom stadium seats have built-in vibration motors synced to the on-screen action.


Yeti cooler. Built to be indestructible and keep ice for days, one of these premium coolers will be awarded as a door prize. A bear to test the claim is not included.


Zzzzz. The Man Xpo will be a full day of fun. Plan on heading straight to the recliner for a little shuteye when you get home.

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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