Rock the Riverfront, Opera Extravaganza, Circus on Ice among Chattanooga area’s weekend event highlights

Contributed photo by Creos / An installation similar to the one opening as part of Chattanooga's Rock the Riverfront

Rock the Riverfront returns for a second year, this time with spinning tops replacing musical seesaws as the interactive art installation. And a conductor from New York's Metropolitan Opera will visit for an Opera Extravaganza, where everyone is asked to wear purple. Also worthy of celebration: Monday is the first day of spring.


-- Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View, will welcome the curator of the special exhibition "Beauford Delaney's Metamorphosis Into Freedom" for an Art Wise tour 6-7 p.m. Thursday. Stephen Wicks built and manages the Knoxville Museum of Art's Delaney works, the world's most comprehensive collection of art by the Knoxville native. Forty-seven pieces, plus sketchbooks and ephemera by Delaney are on view at the Hunter through May 1, along with a few works by his younger brother, Joseph, also an artist. Regular admission ($20 for nonmember adults) applies for the Art Wise program.

(READ MORE: New exhibits at Hunter Museum explore the lives, works of Knoxville, Atlanta artists)


-- The Comedy Catch, 29 Station St., will feature comics four nights this weekend. Open Mic Night, for up-and-coming talents, starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $7. The weekend features a special engagement with Jen Kober, an actor and comedian whose latest projects include the film "How We Roll" and the television series "American Horror Story" and "Hacks." Her shows start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, with tickets priced at $17-$20, and 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with tickets priced at $20-$25.

-- Walker Theater, 399 McCallie Ave., will welcome Kountry Wayne on his Help Is on the Way Comedy Tour at 7 p.m. Saturday. He was named one of Variety's "10 Comics To Watch" in 2021, following the success of a Facebook sketch that went viral in 2014. Tickets are $48-$78 general admission, $127-$268 VIP.


-- Shield Baptist Church, 12684 N. Highway 27, Chickamauga, Ga., will welcome Southern gospel's Tribute Quartet on the Always Grace tour at 7 p.m. Thursday.

-- Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 1156 E. Main St., will mark its centennial with a service at 11 a.m. Sunday. The day's theme is "Proud Past, Bright Future: Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church Celebrates 100 Years & Counting." The guest speaker is former Associate Minister James A. Powell, pastor of Washington Park Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor James E. Calhoun and his wife, Terry Calhoun, have served the congregation the last 44 years. 423-267-6915


-- Chattanooga Jewish Documentary Film Series continues with "The Narrow Bridge," about four Israelis and Palestinians who transform their grief into a bridge for understanding and reconciliation. The movie, the second in a series of five, will be available virtually from noon Monday through noon March 24. It may be viewed in person at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Jewish Cultural Center, 5461 N. Terrace. Refreshments will be available at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 per film, $36 for the series. Virtual screenings must be paid in advance to receive the login code.


-- Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave., will be open for two shows this week. Dexter Bell & Friends will be guests for the weekly installment of Jazz in the Lounge at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Cover is $5. Thursday features Knoxville jazz pianist Margherita Fava at 7:30 p.m., accompanied by saxophonist Gregory Tardy, one of the jazz musicians who recommended her, according to the venue's website. Tickets are $15.

-- Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., has two events on the musical calendar. The Presidential Concert Series continues at 7:30 p.m. Thursday with a performance by the Manhattan Chamber Players' Clarinet Quintet in Pangle Hall, 340 Church St. NE. Tickets are $5-$15. On Saturday, trombonist Jeremy Wilson will present a master class at 10:30 a.m. in Pangle Hall and a performance at 2 p.m. in Squires Recital Hall, 1120 N. Ocoee St. Admission is free, but tickets are required. A livestream is available at

-- Songbirds, 35 Station St., has two events ahead. Songbirds Radio Hour: Episode 7 starts at 7 p.m. Thursday. Ismael Sandoval, assistant conductor with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, will talk about the history of mariachi music and its importance in Mexican culture. The Dalton, Ga., band Mariachi Aventurero will be the musical guest. Admission is free. Grammy-winning guitarist Eric Johnson will lead a master class for all skill levels 6-7:30 p.m. Monday. Cost is $150. He'll be in concert the next night at Walker Theatre (see separate listing).

-- Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave., has three shows ahead. Koe Wetzel, whose music is a mix of country, rock and grunge, performs at 8 p.m. Thursday. He'll have support from fellow Texans Kolby Cooper and Dylan Wheeler. Tickets are $48-$78. US101's Heart Strings for Hope concert at 7 p.m. Monday is nearly sold out. Nashville songwriter Kelley Lovelace, a Hixson High School graduate, will be joined by country stars Chris Young, Joe Nichols, Russell Dickerson and Tyler Hubbard for this intimate acoustic show benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Tickets are $35-$60. Blues guitarist Buddy Guy will be in concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, with support from Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. This is the 86-year-old Guy's Damn Right Farewell tour, a nod to the 1991 release, "Damn Right, I've Got the Blues," that won him a Traditional Blues Album Grammy, the first of eight over his career. Tickets are $65-$120.

-- Barrelhouse Ballroom, 1501 Long St., has three shows this weekend, including the newly added St. Patrick's Day Dead on the Deck show with local Grateful Dead tribute band Chants in the Void. The patio show is 5-8:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10. Inside Friday is Big Bam Boom: A Darryl Hall & John Oates Tribute at 9 p.m., with a repertoire of 34 Top 100 songs by the pop duo. Tickets are $15-$20. Saturday at 9 p.m. is a Let's Go Disco show, featuring DJ Mystery Box, to raise funds for the music education nonprofit Chattanooga Girls Rock. Tickets are $15-$20.

-- Chattanooga Boys Choir will welcome two alumni for a Brothers in Song concert at 7 p.m. Friday at First Christian Church, 650 McCallie Ave. Tenor Mark Laseter (2010) and baritone Michael Parham (2009) will perform with the choir's Handel, Concert and Cantabile ensembles. Tickets are $10.

-- The Caverns, 555 Charlie Roberts Road, Pelham, Tenn., plans two shows this weekend, starting with St. Patrick's Day Underground with The Nashville Celts, Irish dancers and special guests, at 8 p.m. CDT Friday. Tickets are $55. Saturday brings the bluegrass duo Dailey & Vincent at 8 p.m CDT. Tickets are $59.

-- Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will mark the return of opera to the CSO stage with an Opera Extravaganza at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. Guest conductor Pierre Vallet of New York's Metropolitan Opera will lead selections from composers including Bizet, Berlioz, Verdi, Rodgers and Hammerstein. Musical guests include cellist Ewan Manalo and vocalists Chelsea Lehnea (soprano), Gretchen Krupp (mezzo-soprano), Kevin Punnackal (tenor) and Craig Irvin (baritone). The performance is dedicated to longtime supporter Sonia Young, who died in December. Concertgoers are encouraged to wear purple in honor of Chattanooga's "Purple Lady." Tickets are $15-$90.

-- Walker Theatre, 399 McCallie Ave., will welcome Grammy-winning guitarist Eric Johnson at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $29-$39.


-- Circus on Ice: Magic Tour will have shows at 4 and 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Dalton Convention Center, 2211 Tony Ingle Parkway, Dalton, Ga. This frozen adventure features favorite characters, circus acts and skaters on synthetic ice. Photo ops will be available at intermission. Tickets are $15-$25.

-- Rock the Riverfront, a spring celebration, will launch Friday for a second year at the Chattanooga Green, 140 Riverfront Parkway. The main attraction is an interactive art installation, Los Trompos (spinning tops). Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily through April 16. Weekends will feature special programming, including live music, art vendors, family activities and food trucks. Opening day will feature DJ Corleone Tone. Saturday is Culture & Creatives Day with music by Luke Simmons & The Lovestruck and a screening of the film "Viva Guatemala: A Journey Through a Land of Culture and Beauty." Sunday is an open play day. Admission is free.

-- Plant Natives 2023, the signature event of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones, will kick off this weekend. Friday's nature journaling workshop is sold out. The Native Plant Symposium, featuring several guest speakers who are experts in landscaping with native plants, is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday in the UTC University Center, 710 Mocs Alumni Drive. Cost is $85 through Wednesday, the final day to register. The event concludes March 25 with the Native Plant Sale & Expo at First Horizon Pavilion.

-- Chattanooga & North Georgia Antique Bottles & Advertising Show is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Dalton Convention Center, 2211 Tony Ingle Parkway, Dalton, Ga. Vendors with advertising, signs and specialty bottles (soda, beer, butter, medicine, milk, whiskey, applied colored labels, blob top) will be on-site. Admission is free, but there are early admission and buying privileges for a $20 ticket at 8 a.m.

-- Master Gardeners of Hamilton County will present a class on "Pollinators & Native Gardens" 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. The program may be attended in person at Hamilton County's UT Extension office, 6183 Adamson Circle, or via Zoom. Registration is required for either.

(READ MORE: It's too soon to start the garden, but these classes and events will get you ready)

-- Easter Bunny arrives Saturday at Northgate Mall, 271 Northgate Mall Drive in Hixson. The bunny will be available for visits and photos during mall hours through April 8, with pet photos made Mondays. Reservations may be made online, and walk-ins are welcome. The bunny is already in residence at Hamilton Place and will arrive March 24 at Bradley Square Mall in Cleveland, Tenn., and Dalton Mall in Dalton, Ga.

Train Collectors Association, Dixie Division, will hold a model train show 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, Ga. Visitors are welcome to buy, sell or trade model trains and accessories with the members or just watch the trains speed around the tracks. Admission is $7 per family. 423-894-1284

-- The National Black Market, a touring celebration of Black businesses, will stop noon-6 p.m. Saturday at First Horizon Pavilion, 1826 Carter St. The event will include food trucks, vendors, games, raffles, installations, live music and DJs. Admission is free.

-- Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will offer a Civil War history lesson at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bragg Reservation on Missionary Ridge, 3136 S. Crest Place. The topic is "What's in a Name: The 'Four Ladies' of Cobb's Kentucky Battery," and a ranger will explain how this relates to four cannons. Admission is free.

  photo  Staff File Photo by Robin Rudd / The guns marking Cobb's Kentucky Battery stand before the huge Illinois monument at the Bragg Reservation of the Chattanooga and Chickamauga National Military Park on Missionary Ridge. A ranger-led program Saturday will explore the significance of nicknames for the cannons.

-- Mizpah Congregation, 923 McCallie Ave., will welcome Rabbi Deborah Prinz, author of "On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao," at 4 p.m. Saturday. Her talk is part of the Chattanooga Goldman Moses Lecture Series. The first 25 dessert chefs who arrive with treats to share will receive a free copy of her book.

-- Chattanooga River Market continues this weekend on the Tennessee Aquarium plaza, 1 Broad St. Included are vendors of handmade arts, crafts and other products, plus artisan foods, food trucks and live music. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays through April 1-2, when the event reverts to a Saturdays-only schedule through October. Admission is free.

-- Cleveland Bradley County Public Library, 795 Church St. NE, Cleveland, Tenn., will continue its Centennial Celebration tours of the new and old facilities, with guides in historical costumes, 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Tours will be repeated each month this year. Registration is required.

  photo  Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision via AP / Victoria Arlen, Paralympian swimmer, arrives in 2016 at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Arlen will be in Chattanooga on Tuesday for the Siskin Hospital for Rehabilitation's Possibilities luncheon.

-- Siskin Possibilities luncheon: Siskin Hospital of Physical Rehabilitation will present its 20th annual Possibilities: Siskin Hospital Celebrates Life Beyond Disability luncheon at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza. The guest speaker will be Victoria Arlen, an on-air personality for ESPN, actress, speaker, model, "Dancing With the Stars" contestant and Paralympic athlete and medalist. She'll share the message behind her personal motto, "Face It, Embrace It, Defy It, Conquer It," and how she fought through two rare medical conditions that caused her to lose the ability to speak, eat, walk or move for nearly four years. The luncheon also will include inspirational videos highlighting the work that takes place as Siskin patients overcome disability. Tickets are $75 to attend in person, $50 for a livestream. Proceeds go toward the hospital's Charity Care Funds, which cover the cost of care for patients without adequate insurance.


-- Artistic Civic Theatre, 907 Gaston St., Dalton, Ga., will end its run of the Southern comedy "Dearly Departed" this weekend. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are $12-$16.

-- Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., will open the Youth Theatre production "Bambi: A Life in the Woods" this weekend. Shows start at 7 p.m. Friday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (same schedule March 24-26). Tickets are $10-$12.

Find more events, and add your own, at times

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.