RiverRocks rolls into action today with 76 activities (at last count) that celebrate the great outdoors.
Some of the events are intended for athletes at the top of their game, such as the Triple Crown of Bouldering for climbers, the Rock Creek StumpJump for distance runners and the Chattanooga Head Race for rowers.
But hard-core fitness isn't necessary for the majority of the events -- just an interest in learning a new skill. A series of stand-up paddleboard clinics, for instance, will teach the basics of this new water sport, and a guided Wild Cave Adventure is a safe way for would-be spelunkers to explore the inner confines of Raccoon Mountain Caverns.
Family adventures are also part of the package, as are art, music and dining options through next weekend.
The festival is bookended by plenty of eye-popping spectacle. Opening weekend includes hot-air balloon flights and tethered rides Saturday and Sunday, as well as a nighttime balloon glow Saturday at Coolidge Park.
Closing weekend, Oct. 8-9, features concerts and a 3D Projection Mapping light show that will change how you look at the Hunter Museum of American Art, at least temporarily.
To further enhance the fun, festival organizers tout other weekend events that add to the downtown dynamic. These include the 3 Sisters bluegrass festival at Ross's Landing, Wine Over Water on the Walnut Street Bridge, a Culture Fest celebration at Chattanooga Market and the Tennessee River Rescue.
See the schedule of RiverRocks events below. Register for events at www.riverrockschattanooga.com.