Rock City Gardens is gearing up for what staff members expect will be one of the most lively St. Patrick's Day celebrations around. The attraction's Shamrock City festival has been named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society for the last three years.
The fifth annual celebration will include a green waterfall, Celtic music, dancing and green foods, as well as foods associated with the Irish.
"Shamrock City continues to grow with visitors and enhancements to the event," said spokeswoman Meagan Jolley. "We've kept a lot of the same festivities, [but] this year we've added new musicians to the lineup. We also have new terrace seating at Lovers Leap [with rare scenic views]."
The popularity of the St. Patrick's Day event is evident by attendance records.
"Any event we develop and start, we believe takes two to three years to build a reputation as we continue to innovate, deliver on our brand promise, promote and get guest feedback," said Andrew Kean, president of See Rock City. "Our attendance growth from 2009 to 2010 was about a 25 percent increase, but we set a record with last year's attendance. In fact, attendance for 2011 more than doubled compared to 2010. In 2011, we grew attendance for the weekend 166 percent. We are hopeful for another great year."
This year, the Georgia Winery is helping with the celebration with a Shamrock City wine that may be sampled and purchased from noon to 5 p.m. both days of the Rock City celebration, as well as from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the winery.
Additional highlights at Rock City include green peppermint lattes and frappuccinos from Starbucks, "green" makeovers and a children's treasure hunt.
Rock City is also participating in the Shamrocks for Dystrophy campaign that raises funds for the Chattanooga district of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.