What: Southern Blooms Festival.
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. today through Sunday.
Where: Rock City Gardens, 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain.
Admission: $18.95 adults, $10.95 ages 3-12 (see deals below).
Rock City is celebrating its 80th anniversary with special admission deals this weekend.
• Today: All 19-, 32- and 80-year-olds get in free (19 and 32 based on Rock City's opening year, 1932).
• Saturday: Every 80th person gets in free.
• Sunday: The first 80 people pay 80 cents admission.
This weekend's Southern Blooms Festival at Rock City is more than a chance for the attraction to show off its beautiful bloomers. This fourth annual event includes programming meant to impart knowledge to Chattanooga-area gardeners.
Workshops and garden tours will be offered 10 a.m.-4 p.m. today through Sunday. Daily events include special vendors, book signings, music and a garden series honoring Rock City's original gardener, Frieda Utermoehlen Carter.
New this year is a focus on food, with speakers including Virginia Willis, former kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living Television and author of Bon Appetit, Y'all. She will lead a cold-food prep session at 1 p.m. Saturday.
HGTV's Erica Glasener and Georgia Public Television's Walter Reeves return Sunday for a workshop on beautiful and edible gardens, "Getting the Most Out of Your Garden." All three workshop guests are scheduled for book signings after each demo.
Morning group tours are being offered daily at 9 a.m., led by Rock City's director of horticulture, George Schimpf, and Chattanooga's Master Gardeners (limited space available). Coca-Cola is sponsoring a Build-Your-Own Rain Barrel workshop each day. Local artisans and vendors are on-site as well, including Tangerina's, offering fun and functional artwork from recycled and reclaimed materials.
The Chattanooga Area Food Bank is a featured community partner during Southern Blooms. Georgia Winery will be on-site as a new concessionaire offering a Southern Blooms blush wine.
The full schedule of events can be found at www.seerockcity.com/southernblooms.