Light up the Chattanooga riverfront with this art installation and event series for the young at heart

Photo by Waylan Scogin Mayo / Impulse exhibit debuts in Dallas, Texas, in 2019.

Do you remember the last time you played on the playground? What was your favorite thing to do? Climb the monkey bars? Ride the seesaws?

Chattanooga's young at heart can now relive their childhood playground memories at a new installation and free monthlong event on the river.

Through April 3, "Impulse" will feature 15 illuminated seesaws that light up and create sound when in use. The seesaws range in length from 16-24 feet and will be open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Chattanooga Green Park on Riverfront Parkway next to the Tennessee Aquarium.

While visitors can access the seesaws daily, throughout the month, the park will host a number of special events and activities called Rock the Riverfront, in an effort to bring more people to the area.

Dawn Hjelseth, vice president of marketing and communication for River City Company, says the installation kicks off Friday, March 4 at 10 a.m. with live music and art vendors. The next day will be a bigger celebration and the official start to Rock the Riverfront, which will include its inaugural "Light Up Chatt Parade" from Coolidge Park to Chattanooga Green. A partnership between River City, Playful Evolving Monsters and Art 120, the parade will feature lights and lanterns made, in part, during free workshops hosted throughout the city through February. On Sunday, River City is partnering with the Chattanooga Marathon for Rock 'N Cheer, where those who attend can cheer on Chattanooga Marathon runners from their seesaws at the mile-3 and mile-17 markers.

About the art

Impulse is an internationally touring installation, showcased in 45 different cities and four continents. The installation was created and executed by the Lateral Office design studio and CS Design and produced by Quartier des Spectacles Partnership of Montreal. Chattanooga will be the smallest city to host the exhibit to date and the first in the central Southeast.

From there, says Hjelseth, events with kids in mind are planned for each weekend.

The weekend of the 12th will be a family-friendly fitness day in partnership with News Channel 9's Greg Funderburg that encourages people to get out and get active. The weekend of the 19th will be a St. Patrick's Day celebration focused on fun ways kids can engage with artists.

The weekend of March 26-27 will spotlight women's history month and women's art, and the final weekend, April 2-3, will partner with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee to host an artist market and traditional Cherokee kids games.

"There's something different every weekend that people of all ages can participate in," says Hjelseth. "It's fun for all ages. Having families come down and play together is the idea."