Chattanooga-area's weekend events include Leslie Jordan memorial and Thanksgiving celebrations

Staff file photo by Matt Hamilton / Family, friends and fans will remember the late Leslie Jordan (1955-1922) in a public memorial service Sunday at Memorial Auditorium. He's pictured here in June serving as grand marshal of the 2022 Riverbend Festival.

Thanksgiving is in the forefront this week, as is a fashion expo, a National Geographic photographer and a memorial to Chattanooga native Leslie Jordan that promises to remember the entertainer's many talents.

Two upcoming shows on Saturday are sold out: comedian Leanne Morgan's Big Panty Tour stop at Memorial Auditorium and The SteelDrivers' show at The Caverns in Pelham, Tennessee.

Here's a chronology of what's coming.


Get information on upcoming holiday events, including Santa's arrival, Ice on the Landing and Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights.


-- The Pop-Up Project will present final performances of "If These Walls Could Talk" at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at Coosa Mill, 1800 S. Watkins St. The immersive experience includes music, dance, installation art, aerials, projection lighting and craft cocktails inspired by the history of the mill. Sunday is family-friendly. Tickets are $37-$80.

-- Museum Center at Five Points, 200 E. Inman St., Cleveland, Tenn., will celebrate the life and legacy of Howard Finster (1916-2001), a Baptist minister and folk artist whose Paradise Gardens in Summerville, Ga., contains more than 46,000 pieces of his outsider art. The event in Cleveland, Reverend Finster's Rock N' Revival, includes music, special guests and original art in a series of programs Thursday through Saturday. The exhibition will be on view through Jan. 31. Tickets are required for some programming.

(PHOTO GALLERY: Howard Finster's Paradise Garden)

-- Townsend Atelier, 301 E. 11th St., will present a Holiday Art Portfolio, with more than 250 fine artworks for sale at various price points, this weekend. Thirteen artists are represented, including two Ukrainian exiles staying in Chattanooga. Hours are 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, with refreshments, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, with a BeCaffeinated espresso cart onsite 10 a.m.-noon.

(READ MORE: Ukrainian artists in Chattanooga surprised by Russian invasion)

-- Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, 400 Garden Road, will host National Geographic photographer Jessica Suarez from noon-3 p.m. Saturday. Suarez has an exhibit of photos of American red wolves on view. Visitors also may take a free tour of Reflection Riding's red wolf exhibit at 1 p.m. Admission is free; registration is not necessary.


-- The Comedy Catch, 29 Station St., has four nights of comedy planned. Wednesday features Atlanta comedian Katherine Blanford, co-host of the "Cheaties" podcast, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17-$19. A Next Level Comedy Showcase for rising talents, is 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $12. The weekend headliner is Jay Stevens, who has performed in venues ranging from churches to casinos. His shows, rated R, start at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $17-$19.

-- Improv Chattanooga has two shows coming up at Mountain Arts Community Center, 809 Kentucky Ave., Signal Mountain. Wednesday is an Improv 102 Student Showcase at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5. Friday offers "Whose Line Is It, Signal Mountain," borrowing ideas from the popular television show, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5-$15.


-- "The Snow Queen," a ballet based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen, will be presented by the Creative Arts Guild and Ballet Dalton this weekend in the Dalton High School theater, 1500 Manly St., Dalton, Ga. Performances start at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Saturday also features a narrated matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13-$18.

-- Drive-In Dance, an outdoor modern dance performance by Barking Legs Theater, will happen at 8 p.m. Saturday in a vacant lot at the corner of Dodds Avenue and 14th Street. The audience will stay in their cars with radios tuned to the show's music on WUTC-FM 88.1. Cost is $25 per vehicle in advance, $30 at the gate.

-- Girls Night Out: The Show, a male dance revue, starts at 7 p.m. Sunday at The Comedy Catch, 29 Station St. Tickets are $25-$50.

-- "Nutcracker: Magical Christmas Ballet": An international cast of ballet dancers will present this holiday classic at 7 p.m. Monday at Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. The performance is part of a 30th anniversary tour. Tickets are $33-$178.


-- Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave., has three upcoming concerts. Wednesday is the weekly Jazz in the Lounge show with the Jim Crumble Trio performing at 7 p.m. Cover is $5. Friday is a dance party of popular music performed by local band The Beaters at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Sunday features LaDonna & Misha: Improvised Music From Two Continents at 7:30 p.m. The collaborators are violinist LaDonna Smith, of Birmingham, Ala., and Misha Feigin, a Russian guitarist who immigrated to the U.S. in 1990. Tickets are $12-$15.

-- Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will perform a Masterworks concert of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, which the composer described as "perhaps (his) best," at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. Also on the program are Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring pianist Diego Caetano, and Wang Jie's setting of "America the Beautiful." Tickets are $10-$90.

-- Barrelhouse Ballroom, 1501 Long St., will host three shows this weekend. Thursday features outlaw country artist Alex Williams, with Cosmic Strangers, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15-$20. Local neo-soul band Lvndr, featuring Maria Jordania, will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, with support by Behold the Brave. Tickets are $12-$15. Fly2K, offering hip-hop, R&B and pop classics of the 1990s through 2000s, will play at 9 p.m. Saturday, with Mystery Box supporting. Tickets are $12-$15.

-- Choo Choo Chorus, the Chattanooga chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, will present "Celebrating the Holidays in Harmony" at 7 p.m. Friday at the North River Civic Center, 1009 Executive Drive, Suite 102. Admission is free. 423-870-8924

-- Gem Theatre, 114 N. Wall St., Calhoun, Ga., will host Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band Free Bird at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Wandering Willows will open. Tickets are $25.

-- Songbirds, 35 Station St., will welcome two country acts this weekend. Ward Davis will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, with support from Josh Meloy. Tickets are $22-$100. Tyler Booth will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, with Reid Haughton supporting. Tickets are $15-$20.

-- The Signal, 1810 Chestnut St., will host the Emo Night Tour, a dance party to emo music, at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15-$45. The Chase Rice concert on Thursday has been canceled.

-- Chattanooga Music Club will offer a "Holiday Festivity" community concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1505 N. Moore Road. The Metropolitan Bells and Choral Arts Society will be featured, along with an audience sing-along and a visit from Santa. Admission is free.

-- Love, Light, Leslie: A Sunday Hymn Singin' To Celebrate Leslie Jordan will start at 5 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. The Chattanooga native, who died Oct. 24, found success as an actor, comedian, writer and singer, as well as a viral sensation with his funny Instagram posts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tickets are $20, with proceeds benefiting Cempa Community Cares of Chattanooga.

(READ MORE: Leslie Jordan celebration of life to feature comedy, music, memories)


-- Brim Bar, a curated hat experience provided by Huntsville, Ala.-based Travel Patterns, will be set up 6-8 p.m. Thursday at The Chattery, 1800 Rossville Ave. Tickets, $65-$75, include a choice of fedora or wide-brimmed hat to be personalized with accessories, which are priced separately. Starting at 5 p.m., chef Kenyatta Ashford of Neutral Ground Chattanooga will offer a gumbo pop-up with a la carte pricing.

-- Club Lit, a fundraiser for the Southern Lit Alliance, starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at Chattanooga Whiskey Event Hall, 890 Riverfront Parkway. Guest author Kevin Wilson will discuss and sign copies of his new novel, "This Is Not the Time To Panic," and SoLit will present this year's Local Distinguished Author Award. Live music, a silent auction and specialty drinks and hors d'oeuvres are included in the $75 ticket price.

(READ MORE: Review: Kevin Wilson's latest novel considers the transformative power of art)

-- Chattanooga Fashion Expo, which spotlights opportunities for professional careers in fashion design, starts Thursday. The four-day event includes three runway shows, educational programs, competitions, receptions and parties at venues throughout Chattanooga. Full schedule:

-- Master Gardeners of Hamilton County will offer a free class on "Live Wreaths & Holiday Decorations" 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Hamilton County Extension office, 6183 Adamson Circle. Participants also may attend via Zoom; registration is required for either option.

-- Battles for Chattanooga anniversary programs are scheduled Saturday, Sunday and Nov. 23-25 at various Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Park sites. The schedule includes ranger- and historian-led hikes and tours of Moccasin Bend, Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, as well as artillery demonstrations at Point Park on Lookout Mountain. Point Park has a $10 gate fee, but all other activities are free. Schedule:

-- Miracle, a seasonal pop-up bar, will open Monday at No Hard Feelings, 806 Broad St. The Chattanooga location is one of nearly 200 participants for 2022. This is the second year that No Hard Feelings has hosted Miracle, a concept that started in New York City in 2014 to introduce professionally developed cocktails in a kitschy Christmas atmosphere. Miracle will remain open through Dec. 31. The cocktail menu includes the Christmapolitan and Grandma Got Run Over by a T-Rex. Proceeds from merchandise sales will be donated to Seva, a global nonprofit eye care organization.


-- Gratefull, a free community Thanksgiving luncheon that takes place at one long table, is set for 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday in the street in front of Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd. Party Bites will provide the turkey and dressing, while Niedlov's, Community Pie, Frothy Monkey, Main Street Meats and Coca-Cola are donating side dishes and drinks. Donations are requested for the Maclellan Shelter for Families, especially nonperishable food, coffee supplies, disposable plates and silverware, toothpaste, diapers and laundry supplies. 423-265-3700

-- Chattanooga Market will hold its Thanksgiving Market, a chance to purchase locally produced foods and other goods for the holiday dinner, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at First Horizon Pavilion, 1826 Carter St. This will be the last outdoor market of the season. After a break the last Sunday of November, vendors will move to the Chattanooga Convention Center for a Holiday Market the first three weekends of December.

-- Ooltewah Farmers Market vendors will hold a Thanksgiving Farmers Market 3-5 p.m. Tuesday at Ooltewah Nursery & Landscape Co., 5829 Main St. The market is normally open Thursdays but is moving to Tuesday next week to help shoppers prepare for the holiday.

-- Silverdale Baptist Church, 7236 Bonny Oaks Drive, has scheduled a community Thanksgiving service at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. 423-892-2173, ext. 2029.


-- UTC Theatre Company presents Shakespeare's tragic love story "Romeo and Juliet" through the weekend. Performances start at 7:30 nightly through Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St. Tickets are $10-$12.

-- Scenic City Shakespeare continues its monthly series focusing on Shakespeare's comedies with a discussion of "Much Ado About Nothing" at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Edney Innovation Center (fourth floor), 1100 Market St. Admission is free.

-- Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave., will host a touring production of Baby Shark Live: The Christmas Show at 6 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $29-$59.

-- Chattanooga State Community College, 4501 Amnicola Highway, will present "Radium Girls" in three performances this weekend. Inspired by a true story, the play explores the events of 1926, when women working in watch factories were poisoned by the radium used to make luminous dials. Shows start at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 (free for the Chatt State community). 423-697-2432

Find more events, and add your own, at

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.