It's often said that everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day. If you want to test the theory, here are nine ways to celebrate. The events, ranging from low-key to high-spirited, span several days, offering plenty of chances for the wearing of the green.
ROCK CITY GARDENS
Rock City, 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, Georgia, has one of the biggest St. Patrick's Day celebrations around. Now in its 15th year, Shamrock City happens the weekends before and after the holiday, March 11-12 and 18-19. The deep dive into Irish culture includes live music, food and drinks. Best yet, the waters of High Falls are tinted green for the occasion.
In charge of the soundtrack are the Molly Maguires on the first weekend, Olta on the second weekend, along with the Chattanooga Pipe Band, harpist Rachel Payne and euphonium player Cassie Case. Visitors also can pan for gold and other magical treasures, see Suffolk sheep and a Highland cow in Bagby's Critter Corral and have a portrait drawn by caricature artist Dennis Hart.
Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday. Visitors are advised to buy timed-entry tickets online as dates can sell out. seerockcity.com/shamrock
The St. Paddy's Party on the Parkway, a block party presented by The Honest Pint and SoundCorps, is set for 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday, March 18, outside the bar at 35 Patten Parkway.
The event features two stages with more than 10 musical acts, including YGTUT & The Plug, The Molly Maguires, Shiggy, Et Cetera, Randy Steele & High Cold Wind and Zowie. Also scheduled are performances by the Magic Tapestry bellydance troupe and arts, crafts and food vendors.
"St. Paddy's Party on the Parkway is a flagship event for The Honest Pint, and we consider ourselves lucky to celebrate great Chattanooga musicians alongside SoundCorps on our favorite holiday weekend," says Matt Lewis, owner/operator of The Honest Pint.
Advance tickets are $15 at soundcorps.org/events. General-admission tickets will be available at the gate for $25.
Profits generated from gate sales will go to SoundCorps, a nonprofit that works to build the local music economy and the careers of local music industry professionals.
CHOO CHOO COMPLEX
Gate 11 Distillery and Nic & Norman's, two of the establishments at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Market St., are throwing a joint St. Patrick's Day party starting at 6 p.m. Friday, March 17. Performers will include The Joey Winslett Band, Highlander Pipes & Drums and The Red Rogues. Music lasts until 11 p.m., with no cover.
On Saturday March 18, The Red Rogues will play more Celtic trad, punk rock and originals from 7 to 10 p.m. on the Gate 11 stage.
ALL OVER TOWN
The Highlander Pipes & Drums' visits to the two Choo Choo bars on Friday are among 19 stops the band will be making for its two-day St. Patrick's Day Pub Crawl. Starting at 5 p.m. Friday, March 17, the musicians will serenade at the following establishments: Feed Co., Nic & Norman's, Gate 11 Distillery, Leapin' Leprechaun, Stevarino's, Mike's Hole in the Wall, Southside Social, Chattanooga Billiard Club downtown and CBC East. Starting at noon Saturday, March 18, catch them at Thunder Creek Harley-Davidson, Diamond Billiard Club, Sweet Melissa's, Doc Holidays, Feed Co., Leapin' Leprechaun, Puckett's, Mellow Mushroom, Walk-Ons and Sing It or Wing It. A Facebook post says they'll spend roughly 20 minutes at each location. Stops are listed in order, though organizers say there is always the chance of a last-minute cancellation or addition. facebook.com/alhambrahighlanders
EASTGATE PARKING LOT
Food Truck Friday, which happens first and third Fridays each month, will happen 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, March 17, at the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga, 5704 Marlin Road, adjacent to Eastgate Mall. More than 20 trucks usually take part, so the menu is varied. As a bonus, the chefs will take part in a potato competition, to be judged by representatives of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union. facebook.com/KitchenIncChatt
The Chattanooga Area Flute Society will present a program of St. Patrick's Day music in two performances: 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 822 Belvoir Ave., and 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 20, at St. John United Methodist Church, 3921 Murray Hills Drive. The program will feature traditional Irish and Celtic tunes as well as works by Catherine McMichael and "The Legend of Lyn Llech Owain," which will highlight the choir's low flute section. facebook.com/chattanoogaflutes
Dunlap, Tennessee, will launch a St. Patrick's Day Festival at Harris Park, 245 Cedar St., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. CDT Saturday, March 18. The inaugural event will include live music, artists, food trucks, homemade crafts and children's activities. Admission and parking are free, though donations are welcome for Friends of the Park. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Spend St. Patrick's Day underground with The Nashville Celts and Irish dancers at The Caverns, 555 Charlie Roberts Road in Pelham, Tennessee. The show starts at 8 p.m. CDT Friday, March 17. Reserved seating is $55. thecaverns.com
Boyd's Speedway, 1481 Scruggs Road, Ringgold, Georgia, will host the Shamrock 100 race Friday and Saturday, March 17-18. Organizers say last year saw record attendance, with fans turning out to see 41 of the world's most powerful late models race. "This year we expect an even bigger turnout as several new faces, including Bobby Pierce, have joined the World of Outlaws tour," according to a news release.
On Friday, pits will open at 2 p.m., grandstands at 5 p.m. Hot laps start at 7 p.m. Friday ticket prices are $30 ($25 if purchased in advance) for adults in the grandstands, $10 for children 6-12 and free for younger children. Pit tickets are $40.
On Saturday, pit gates will open at 2 p.m., grandstands at 4 p.m. An autograph session for World of Outlaws drivers will be held at 5 p.m. Hot laps start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 ($30 if purchased in advance) for adults in the grandstands, $10 for children 6-12 and free for younger children. Pit tickets are $45. boydsspeedway.com
Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.