Holiday weekend in Chattanooga area offers mix of Thanksgiving, Christmas traditions to entertain

Staff Photo / Chattanooga Housing Authority Executive Director Betsy McRight, right, plays Christmas carols on a kazoo on Nov. 28, 2019, during the 20th annual Grateful Gobbler 5K Walk/Run in Chattanooga. All of the proceeds from the walk benefitted the Maclellan Shelter for Families, an emergency homeless shelter on site at the Community Kitchen on 11th Street in Chattanooga. The shelter features 13 units with 68 beds for families experiencing homelessness. The shelter provides a stable environment for families to remain together as they search for permanent housing solutions.

Welcome to what begins a long holiday weekend for many. After Thanksgiving, you can celebrate the commercial pushes known as Black Friday (the moneymaker for big retailers), Small Business Saturday (to help locally owned stores), Artists Sunday (supporting local creatives), Cyber Monday (for online orders) and Giving Tuesday (gifts to charity). We've heard of no clever name to wrap up the almost weeklong observance, but "Empty Wallet Wednesday" comes to mind.

In the meantime, if you're looking for entertainment, live reindeer will land at Ross's Landing on Friday, just before the lighted boat parade ushers in the holiday season downtown. Remember that Chattanooga Market is closed this Sunday and will re emerge Dec. 3-4 for the first of three weekends as the Holiday Market at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

(READ MORE: Chattanooga-area holiday events: Santa's on his way and light shows power up)


-- River Gallery, 400 E. Second St., plans a Black Friday open house. The event includes a painting demo by Jerry Knight from open to close, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and a woodworking demo by Jon Cordes 1-3 p.m. Merchandise discounts (at least 10% off) last all season.

-- The Arts Center, 320 N. White St., Athens, Tenn., will hold a Holiday Trunk Show, featuring fine arts, crafts and handmade gifts from regional artisans, this weekend. The preview party, which includes early buying privileges, refreshments and door prizes, is 6-8 p.m. Friday with a $5 admission. Saturday hours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., have free admission.

-- Museum Center at Five Points, 200 E. Inman St., Cleveland, Tenn., will offer Holidays at Five Points, a Christmas market by local artists, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. The monthly Family Day, with storytime and activities, will run concurrently.

-- Area 61 Gallery, 721 Broad St., will celebrate Artists Sunday 1-6 p.m. with a meet-and-greet with sculptor Rick Booth, whose "Horse Show" will be on display through Dec. 12. Each work in the series is sculpted from white pine. Sunday hours are 1-6 p.m.


-- Level Up Arcade & Billiards, 3801 Ringgold Road, East Ridge, will hold a Christmas Toy Drive and Tribute Night 7 p.m.-midnight Friday. Local artists will perform songs by Stone Temple Pilots, Vinyl Rock, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Green Day. Cover is an unwrapped toy or $10 donation to Partnership for Families, Children and Adults.

-- Barrelhouse Ballroom, 1501 Long St., has two shows this weekend. Chattanooga indie-rock quartet Lenox Hills will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, with support from Dolphin Group and Anna Baldree. Tickets are $12-$15. Tennessee's Dead, a jam band that pays tribute to the Grateful Dead, will play at 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15-$20.

-- The Signal, 1810 Chestnut St., welcomes rock band Velcro Pygmies at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20-$40.

-- Southern Adventist University will host the Concerto Competition finals for young musicians at 4 p.m. Sunday in Mabel Wood Hall's Ackerman Auditorium on the Collegedale campus, 4881 Taylor Circle. The players will be accompanied by a full orchestra. Admission is free.


-- Union Gospel Mission will serve a community Thanksgiving dinner 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd. The nonprofit organization also is seeking donations of blankets, coats and other winter items. 423-752-4998.

-- Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park has three more programs in its observance of the anniversary of the Battles for Chattanooga on days that align with the historic events 159 years ago. Wednesday's program, "The Fight for Orchard Knob," starts at 2 p.m. at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center, 3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, and will caravan to Orchard Knob to explore the fighting in Chattanooga on Nov. 23, 1863. At 11 a.m. Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) is "The Battle Above the Clouds -- Or Is It in the Clouds," a quarter-mile walking tour at Point Park on Lookout Mountain. Friday, a two-hour caravan tour starting at 2 p.m. will explore the Battle of Missionary Ridge, with stops at several locations where the fighting took place. Wednesday and Friday events are free. There is a $10 gate fee for ages 16 and older for Thursday's program at Point Park.

-- Turkey Day races: Three charity events Thanksgiving morning will raise money for various causes. The Grateful Gobbler Walk, a 5K run/walk, starts at 8 a.m. Thursday at Coolidge Park, 150 River St. Proceeds go to Maclellan Shelter for Families. Register at The Turkey Trot, with an 8K road race, 3-mile walk/jog and Kiddie K, starts its first event at 8:30 a.m. from SportsBarn East, 6170 Lee Highway. Proceeds support the Kidney Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. Register: The Stuffing Strut, a 5K run/walk, starts at 8:30 a.m. at Chester Frost Park Pavilion, 7872 Causeway Road. Proceeds support Northside Neighborhood House, Soddy-Daisy Food Bank, Dallas Bay Fire Department and the Jim Wilson Fund at Soddy-Daisy Middle School. Prices vary among the races, but are cheaper if you register before Thanksgiving Day.

-- Reindeer on the Riverfront & Lighted Boat Parade will happen Friday at Ross's Landing, 100 Riverfront Parkway. Food, artists and entertainment, including holiday music and mini train rides, will be set up 4-8:30 p.m. Live reindeer will be on-site 4-6:30 p.m., free photos with Santa are scheduled 4:30-7:30 p.m., and the lighted boat parade follows at 7 p.m. A fireworks finale starts at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

-- The Comedy Catch, 29 Station St., welcomes Cee Jay Jones, a Carnival Cruise Lines headliner, over the weekend. Shows start at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $17-$19.

-- Gingerbread houses will start going up Saturday at two Chattanooga locations. The Sweet & Savory Classroom, 45 E. Main St., offers parent/child classes 9 a.m.-noon and 2-5 p.m. Cost is $89. More holiday-themed classes are scheduled in the coming weeks. Learn more at Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St., has 20 gingerbread workshops scheduled weekends through Dec. 18. Cost is $44 for members, $55 for nonmembers (which includes museum admission). Register at

-- Pet photos with Santa are scheduled 4-7 p.m. Monday at Northgate Mall, 271 Northgate Mall Drive and Hamilton Place, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd. Package prices vary. Walk-ins are welcome, or register at or

-- Santa Mocs, wearing a blue and gold suit instead of the traditional red and white, will be at Northgate Mall, 271 Northgate Mall Drive, 4-7 p.m. Tuesday. Scrappy, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga mascot, also will be on hand for photos. Package prices vary. Walk in or register at

-- Tree lighting: Southern Adventist University, 4881 Taylor Circle, Collegedale, will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday in front of Wright Hall. Afterward, visitors may stroll around campus to enjoy performances by the Jazz Ensemble and Steel Band, the Collegedale Academy Concert Band and others. 423-236-2814


-- Artistic Civic Theatre, 907 Gaston St., Dalton, Ga., will open "A Christmas Carol" this weekend, but six of the seven performances of the holiday classic are sold out. At press time, limited seating was available for the Dec. 3. show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are$10-$16.

See more events, and add your own, at

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

  photo  Staff Photo / Runners take off during the 20th annual Grateful Gobbler 5K Walk/Run on Nov. 28, 2019, in Chattanooga. Proceeds from the walk benefit the Maclellan Shelter for Families, an emergency homeless shelter at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.