published Monday, March 24th, 2014

Get Off the Couch: Fairy tale characters invade Rock City

LISA DENTON: Hey, Barry, did you know Rock City has a new bedtime story? Here's how it came about ... sort of.

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, the rulers realized that their fair kingdom would be an even happier place if there were more visitors from the seven states on the horizon.

So they sent out a call to Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and other storybook friends to come and spend evenings in the village, greeting visitors and showing what their fairytale lives are like. So brave, handsome knights will teach how to scale a castle wall and sword fight, and Cinderella will offer rides in her enchanted carriage. Things will get even curiouser on April 5-6 when Alice and the White Rabbit host a tea.

BARRY COURTER: Even though he has a habit of being late, that rabbit throws a pretty good party. You know, I don't know that we have given enough props to Rock City for being so creative lately. I know we talk about the events they have, but they've come up with a lot of new happenings in recent years, and this is just another example.

LISA: You're right. It's a cool place to tour anyway, but they seem to have something extra going on all the time. This new event, Fairytale Nights, will be offered 5-8 p.m. daily from March 28 to April 20. With the park's focus on enchantment other times of the year (Enchanted Garden of Lights, Enchanted Maize), I wonder why they didn't think of this sooner. There's nothing more enchanting than a fairy tale princess.

BARRY: And, don't forget, The Dirty Guv'nahs, one of my favorite regional bands, is back at Track 29 on Friday. They have a new CD out called "Hearts on Fire," and it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart.

LISA: These guys are great. They started out in Knoxville, but they've played Bonnaroo and South by Southwest and opened for The Black Crowes and the Zac Brown Band. Paste magazine says they "know rock and roll from the inside out." Besides being good musicians, they're just all-around nice guys.

BARRY: I got to hang out with them at Bonnaroo and talked to a couple of the guys when they played here shortly after that. They are really good guys who appreciate their fans.

LISA: Plus, I like the whole Appalachian hipster look they've got going.

BARRY: My skinny overalls are on back-order. The lady on the phone insists they are simply too-small overalls, but I'm starting a new fad, so they are hipster overalls, hence the skinny part.

LISA: I can't wait to see that.

Oh, you know what else we need to check out? The Reflection Riding Spring Native Plant Sale is this weekend. The sale starts Friday, and there will be events such as music and hikes and canoe trips on Lookout Creek throughout the weekend. Master Gardeners of Hamilton County will be on hand to answer gardening questions. I pity the poor soul who tries to help me figure out what to plant. About all I can grow are dandelions.

BARRY: It almost seems like spring is nigh.

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

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

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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