Symphony, Michael W. Smith Christmas concerts on Chattanooga area’s weekend calendar

Staff file photo / Cannon Montgomery,1, reaches out for bubbles as his mother Briana Deloach stands behind him during the Winter Break Spectacular on Dec. 17, 2021.
Staff file photo / Cannon Montgomery,1, reaches out for bubbles as his mother Briana Deloach stands behind him during the Winter Break Spectacular on Dec. 17, 2021.

A celebration to kick off the winter break from school, a Battle of the Bells by local television stations and a Tunnel of Tinsel at a car wash are among the highlights of the weekend. Here's a chronology.

(READ MORE: Your weekly planner of Chattanooga-area events)


-- Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave., will welcome comedian Louis C.K. at 8 p.m. Thursday. C.K.'s trophy case includes three Peabody Awards, three Grammy Awards, six Primetime Emmy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Tickets are $50-$75.

-- The Comedy Catch, 29 Station St., will host a Christmas comedy fundraiser at 7 p.m. Thursday featuring Chattanooga comedian JJ Barrows, with special guest Lisa Gilbert. Barrows, whose website describes her as having "a heart for the elderly," has earmarked proceeds for Meals on Wheels, which serves elderly, terminally ill and homebound residents of the area. Tickets are $20. The weekend's headliner is perennial favorite James Gregory in a special engagement. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 6:30 and 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $30-$35.

-- Mountain Arts Community Center, 809 Kentucky Ave., Signal Mountain, will offer Improv Chattanooga's "Whose Line Is It, Signal Mountain" at 8 p.m. Friday. The interactive skits are similar to those seen on the television show "Whose Line Is It Anyway." Tickets are $10-$15.


-- Chattanooga Dance Theatre, 5151 Austin Road, Hixson, will present performances of "Nooga Nutcracker" at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Dr. Roland Carter St. "Nooga Nutcracker" sets the classic ballet in present-day Chattanooga and features several forms of dance. Tickets are $22-$28.

-- Unity Dance Troupe, a professional company of local dancers and actors, will present a Broadway-style production of "Scrooge: A Christmas Carol" in three performances this weekend. The venue has changed from Westmore Church of God to Lee University's Dixon Center, 1053 Church St. NE, Cleveland, Tenn. Shows start at 7 p.m. Friday, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $14-$30.


-- Imax Theater, 201 Chestnut St., continues daily screenings of "The Polar Express" at various times through Dec. 26 (closed Christmas Day). Tickets are $8-$10. A special event, PJs and Polar, set for 9:15-11:45 a.m. Saturday, is a chance to see the movie in your pajamas and meet the conductor. Tickets are $13-$20.

-- Gem Theatre, 114 N. Wall St., Calhoun. Ga., will conclude its free movie series with a sing-along version of "White Christmas" at 1 and 7 p.m. Monday. The 1954 film stars Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen. Concessions will be available.


-- St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St., continues its Advent Concert Series at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday with harpist Caroline Brown Hudson. The free, 25-minute performance is followed by an optional soup lunch for $6. A basket in the back of the church is for donations of winter hats, gloves, scarves and socks for the Chatt Foundation, formerly the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.

-- Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave., has added the Knotty Professors to its weekly Jazz in the Lounge lineup at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Cover is $5.

-- Walker Theatre, 399 McCallie Ave., presents Christmas With Michael W. Smith at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The show by the contemporary Christian artist also will include Michael Tait, lead singer for Newsboys and a third of the Christian rock group DC Talk. Tickets are $54-$79.

-- Choral Arts of Chattanooga will offer a Christmas concert, "Wonderful Peace," at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Second Presbyterian Church, 700 Pine St. The $15 tickets are available online or at the door.

-- Cumberland County Playhouse, 221 Tennessee Ave., Crossville, Tenn., will welcome the Inversion Vocal Ensemble in concert at 7:30 p.m. CST Thursday. Featuring classically trained students and alumni of Tennessee State University, Oakwood University, Vanderbilt University, Morehouse College, University of Tennessee and Union University, Inversion performs classical, contemporary gospel, jazz standards and inspirational music. Tickets are $25.

-- Songbirds, 35 Station St., welcomes country singer Nick Shoulders, with the Lostines, at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $15-$17.

-- Back Alley Productions, a local theater company, will offer its annual Christmas concert by the Holidates, an in-house ensemble, at 7 p.m. Friday in the Mars Theatre, 117 N. Chattanooga St. Tickets are $6-$8.

-- Barrelhouse Ballroom, inside Five Wits Brewing, 1501 Long St., has two shows this weekend. Friday features St. Owsley in "a modern tribute to the music of Jerry Garcia," at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12-$15. Saturday, Chattanooga alt-rock band The Afternooners will present a Christmas concert with guests Oweda and Oki Turbo at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12-$15.

-- The Signal, 1810 Chestnut St., plans two shows this weekend. First up, at 9 p.m. Friday, is the Dolly Disco, a party for country/disco dancing queens. In addition to its namesake entertainer, Dolly Parton, the show will include music by Kacey Musgraves, Orville Peck, Shania Twain, Miley Cyrus, Cher, Whitney Houston, The Chicks, Madonna, Tina Turner and Sheryl Crow. Tickets are $10-$40. Saturday offers Rumours: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute, with support from Frank Hurricane, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20-$40.

-- Princess Theatre, 215 S. Cedar Ave., South Pittsburg, Tenn., will feature country recording artist Mo Pitney in a free Christmas concert at 6 p.m. CST Saturday.

-- Gem Theatre, 114 N. Wall St., Calhoun, Ga., will present the Dana Patterson Merry Christmas Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The fundraiser for the theater will include music by Whitewater Junction, Faye & Jessie Bentley and Jule Medders, plus the Christmas story read by Steven Pearson and appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets are $20.

-- Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will present "Home for the Holidays," a Pops concert of seasonal favorites and a visit from Santa, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. Tickets are $15-$90.


-- Holiday Gifts Market continues 3-5 p.m. Wednesday and Dec. 22 at the Ooltewah Farmers Market at Ooltewah Nursery, 5829 Main St. Vendors will have handmade arts and crafts, plus fresh and prepared foods available.

-- Christmas cookies are on the menu at an all-ages, hands-on decorating class taught by Mrs. Claus 5-8 p.m. Thursday at the East Ridge Community Center, 1515 Tombras Ave. Santa, who is known to love cookies, is expected to make an appearance. Cost to participate is a food donation to the East Ridge Food Pantry.

-- Battle of the Bells, set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, will pit Chattanooga broadcasters in a competition for Salvation Army donations at Hamilton Place, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd. WTVC NewsChannel 9 will be at the Party Fowl entrance, WDEF News 12 will be at the Rodizio Grill entrance and WRCB Local 3 News will be at the Food Court entrance. The stations will air segments to encourage viewers to visit their mall entrance and donate into their red buckets.

-- Winter Break Spectacular, a community party to kick off Hamilton County Schools' winter break, is 2-7 p.m. Friday at Miller Park, 910 Market St. The event includes free photos with the Chattanooga Elf, holiday music, oversize games, food vendors, balloon animals, face painting, holiday treats, arts and crafts, soccer and a free screening of "Elf" at sunset (around 5:30 p.m.). Bring your own seating.

-- Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave., will host Mad Priest Coffee Roasters' Three Mad Men, a live Advent podcast taping, at 6 p.m. Friday. Tim Whitaker, Michael Rice and April Ajoy will lead the audience in what they describe in press material as a "nuanced discussion on faith and life in these wild times." Part of Mad Priest's business model, according to its website, is to support social justice and environmental causes. Tickets are $20-$35. A livestream is available for $6.66. Coffee and adult beverages will be available.

-- Tunnel of Tinsel, a drive-through wonderland with lights and decor, hot cocoa, cookies, candy canes, letters to Santa and a visit from Santa and his elves, will be open 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at ModWash, 5972 East Brainerd Road. Cost is $20 per car for members, $25 for nonmembers.

-- Cookies With Santa, a family event to see Santa and enjoy snacks, is scheduled 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at Joe Stock Memorial Park, 208-B N. Main St., LaFayette, Ga. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

-- Walker County African American Museum and Cultural Center will debut at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Wardlaw Building, 309 N. Main St., LaFayette, Ga. The center focuses on the post-slavery history of Black Americans in the region via touchscreen exhibits, a timeline, photographs and historical artifacts. Regular hours will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sundays.

(READ MORE: Walker County African American Museum set to open)

-- Scuba Claus will make his last appearance of the season at 2 p.m. Saturday in the River Journey building at the Tennessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St. The event is part of Holidays Under the Peaks, a promotion that continues through Dec. 31 with festive music and an electric eel that can illuminate the lights on a Christmas tree. Admission is $22-$35.

-- Mountain Arts Community Center, 809 Kentucky Ave., Signal Mountain, will host a Wings To Soar flying raptor program as a fundraiser for Happinest Wildlife Rescue at 3 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $5-$20.

(READ MORE: Happinest rehabs raptors, songbirds and mammals)

-- Chattanooga Holiday Market, Chattanooga Market's indoor gift bazaar, is in its final weekend at the Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza. Live music and other entertainment are included. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

(PHOTO GALLERY: Holiday Market at the Chattanooga Convention Center)

-- Candlelight tours continue this weekend at the Marsh House, 308 N. Main St., LaFayette. The home is decorated in the style of Christmas in the 1880s, and tours end with hot cider and ginger cookies. Hours are 6-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A $5 donation per person is requested. Reservations are required. 706-638-5187

-- Christmas in Collegedale launches this year at the Collegedale Commons, 4950 Swinyar Drive. The city-sponsored event, set for 4-7:30 p.m. Sunday, will include music, food trucks, yard games, photos with Santa, stories with Mrs. Claus, a canned food drive by the Collegedale Police Department and a community tree lighting.


-- Scenic City Shakespeare will conclude its yearlong look at Shakespeare's comedies with a discussion of "Twelfth Night" at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Edney building, 1100 Market St. There is no cost to participate. A livestream will be available.

-- Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., will offer final performances of two holiday shows this weekend. "Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)," for mature audiences, is described as a zany romp through the classics. Show time is 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20-$25. "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," a musical for families, has shows at 7 p.m. Friday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15-$20.

-- Dalton Little Theatre, 210 N. Pentz St., Dalton, Ga., offers the last two performances of "DLT's Twisted Holiday Shorts (The Slings and Arrows of Holiday Cheer)," at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $10-$15.

-- Yellow Dragon Productions ends its run of "A Tuna Christmas" with three shows this weekend. The Texas-set comedy has two quick-change actors portraying all 24 characters. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday in St. Luke United Methodist Church, 3210 Social Circle. Tickets are $10-$16.

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Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

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