Chattanooga Seafood Bash coming in April with live music, art, 30 food vendors

Contributed Photo / The first Chattanooga Seafood Bash will take place April 28-30 at Coolidge Park. It will feature fresh seafood from Maryland and Florida, as well as live music and arts and crafts.

When veteran event planners Robin Roberts and Marge Davenport conceived the idea of producing a festival centered on seafood in the North Georgia region — a part of the region not known for its crab cakes or fresh shrimp — they thought, "Why not?

"Yes, why not?" Davenport said by phone.

The first was held in Young Harris, in Towns County, eight years ago and a second was held in Powder Springs, northwest of Atlanta, a couple of years later. Some folks from Chattanooga attended that one and asked the partners in Robin Roberts Promotions to produce one in Chattanooga.

Again, they thought, why not?

The Chattanooga Seafood Bash is set for April 28-30 at Coolidge Park, and it will include a VIP reception on the Southern Belle prior to an opening ceremony in the park.

Music featuring local and Atlanta-based bands will play throughout, and the event will also include a beer and wine garden.

Davenport said the two have been working on the event for more than a year and have made trips to Chattanooga about every two weeks since July securing sponsors and vendors.

In all, 30 food trucks or booths have been secured, and even more were interested.

"We are slap out of room," Davenport said. "We are not accepting anymore."

Jonathan Susman, director of special events and programming for the city of Chattanooga, said his office has been impressed with the amount of work already put into the event.

"They've been working amazingly hard to garner support for this, and everyone in our office has been impressed," he said by phone. "We are excited to see what it does."

The vendors will be offering everything from fresh Maryland crab cakes to seafood from Florida and South Georgia. There will also be desserts such as peach cobbler and items for land-lovers such hamburgers, hotdogs and some Cajun items.

Davenport said there will also be handmade arts and crafts that have been selected by a panel of judges for sale.

"They are handmade by the artist who will be there selling them," she said.

Davenport and Roberts started producing festivals and craft shows 15 years ago in the mountains of North Georgia near Blue Ridge.

"We do a three-day craft show in Helen, Georgia, every year, for example."

She said the seafood is the main attraction for the bashes, but people seem to also enjoy the free admission, family atmosphere, music and crafts, as well.

She said patrons can expect to pay fair or festival prices for the food items, "but the quality is outstanding."

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

  photo  Contributed Photo / The first Chattanooga Seafood Bash will take place April 28-30 at Coolidge Park. It is based on previous events held in recent years in Powder Springs and Young Harris, Ga.