Some things in the Tennessee Valley you can always count on: a rotating roster of shows at area art galleries, spotlights shining on theatrical productions, local and touring acts performing at area clubs and gospel music nights in fast-food restaurants.
Options abound for some form of entertainment every day and night of the week. When the weekend comes, it can be even harder to decide how to spend your time.
Chattanooga's entertainment calendar is filled with events year-round, but here are a few highlights that should be on your radar.
1 -- 3 Sisters Festival
One of the banner events of the fall, this two-day concert series brings in top-tier contemporary and traditional bluegrass bands. The big bonus? Admission is free. This year's festival is set for Oct. 3-4 at Ross's Landing.
2-- Chattanooga Lookouts
The Lookouts, the city's minor-league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, open the season with a five-game home stand against the Jackson Generals on April 3-7. The boys of summer will play their last game of the season on Labor Day against the Tennessee Smokies.
3 -- Lighted Boat Parade
The Christmas season officially begins downtown with this festive circuit of lighted boats on the Tennessee River on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Watch for this year's event on Nov. 28.
4 -- Chattanooga Symphony & Opera
Besides the usual array of Masterworks, Pops, Chamber and Volkswagen series concerts, the CSO's 2014-15 is expected to be especially memorable with a gala event featuring premier cellist Yo-Yo Ma on Oct. 2 and a special opera performance of "The Pirates of Penzance" by the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players on Nov. 15.
5 -- 4 Bridges Arts Festival
Arts and crafts events abound around the region, but consider the Association for Visual Arts' 4 Bridges Arts Festival as one not to be missed. It returns April 11-13 to First Tennessee Pavilion.
6 -- Chattanooga Market
Debuting April 27, this open-air market at First Tennessee Pavilion has long been a Sunday tradition for area families. 2014 will add a midweek component, with a 4-7 p.m. market each Wednesday beginning May 7. There's also the Chattanooga River Market on the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza running every Saturday, March 22 through Oct. 4.
7 -- Jazzanooga
The monthlong celebration of jazz in Chattanooga features concerts at various sites around town, a photography exhibit, cooking demonstration and a New Orleans-style second-line parade, among other events meant to reanimate the "Big Nine." The month culminates with headline performances by Lalah Hathaway and Ruben Studdard on April 25 and Gregory Porter and Avery*Sunshine on April 27.
8 -- Riverbend
The city's most-talked-about musical event, the Riverbend Festival returns June 6-14. Headliners announced so far include country stars Gary Allan and Justin Moore, jam band Widespread Panic and Christian rap artist TobyMac.
9 -- Wine Over Water
Sunset on the Walnut Street Bridge provides the scenic setting for this longtime celebration of world wines and local cuisine, scheduled this year on Sept. 27. The granddaddy of Chattanooga's toasting events also has spawned several other drink-centric celebrations, including Uncorked (formerly Bella Sera) on May 31, and the Tennessee Whiskey Festival, held last year in September.
10 -- Nightfall
The free summer concert series at Miller Plaza will run every Friday night from May 2 to Aug. 29. This year's lineup hadn't been announced at press time, but the series is known for introducing local listeners to world-class artists from all musical genres, paired with a local act with a similar vibe.
11 -- Riverfront Nights
This Saturday night concert series bills itself as an "edu-tainment" event, with high-energy musical acts and a focus on local people and institutions that promote healthy lifestyles, sustainable development and outdoor recreation. The series returns in August.
12 -- Southern Brewers Festival
Earning Best Brewers Festival accolades from Draft magazine, the Southern Brewers Festival heats up Ross's Landing on Aug. 23 with a bevy of bands and brews. Can't wait? Check out the Chattanooga Craft Beer Festival on May 10.
Email Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.