Fun ways to embrace October

Fun ways to embrace October

October 1st, 2017 by Lisa Denton in Life Entertainment

Sculpture in the Sky is a kite-flying adventure at Sculpture Fields.

Sculpture in the Sky is a kite-flying adventure...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

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Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves.

We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves.

— Humbert Wolfe, 1885-1940

Maybe it's imaginary gridlock, no worse than any other month, but the calendar sure seems to get crowded as we head into October, its weekends bombarded with reasons to be outside.

Blame it on the weather: Temperatures mellow. Humidity abates. Nights get downright nippy.

Who wouldn't want to be out and about in this glorious stretch of autumn? By day, horizons are alight with the changing colors of hardwoods. Evenings quicken to the pulse of Friday night football. The air is as crisp as the leaves beneath our feet.

Yes, fall officially arrived in September, but it's October when we sense that change is surely in store. The month's activities heighten the effect with a bounty of craft and music festivals, corn mazes and haunted houses. Finishing those plops us into November — new month, new vibe.

But that's still 31 days away. Here are a few ideas to fill the time until then.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

What's new?

The Chattanooga City Celebration & Ciclovia, noon-7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, is a rolling street party that will take cyclists and pedestrians from downtown to East Chattanooga. Ciclovia, if you're unfamiliar with the term, is Spanish for "cycleway." It usually designates a permanent bike path or the closing of streets for cyclists and pedestrians. For the local event, traffic lanes along the 6-mile route will be partially closed to connect a series of neighborhood block parties along the way. Each stop will have food, music, games and art, among other activities. Parking is at either end of the route: BlueCross BlueShield, 401 W. M.L. King Blvd., and Hardy Elementary School, 2100 Glass St. See the map at

Signature events

-3 Sisters Music Festival: Great American Country has deemed this one of the country's Top Five Bluegrass Festivals. Who could argue? The lineup is always stellar, and admission is always free. The Dismembered Tennesseans play host to a bevy of traditional and contemporary bluegrass stars at Ross's Landing Oct. 6-7. This year, The Del McCoury Band headlines Friday night. Sam Bush finishes off Saturday's all-day lineup of music.

-RiverRocks: No other festival showcases the area's great outdoors quite like the multi-day celebration that is RiverRocks, Oct. 6-21. World-class and amateur athletes find competitions in rowing, paddling, swimming, bouldering, cycling and trail races. But you don't have to know your resting pulse rate to take part in some activities, including a weekly Fireside Music Series at Greenway Farm, a Sculpture in the Sky kite fly at Sculpture Fields and a Wild & Scenic Film Festival at Reflection Riding. And the RiverRocks finale on Oct. 20 is for everyone, with bands, tethered hot-air balloon rides and family activities that remind us why Chattanooga has twice been named Outdoor Magazine's Best Town Ever. Get the full schedule at

-Wine Over Water: Now marking its 23rd year, Tennessee's premiere wine tasting festival, Oct. 5-8, has proven so popular that the signature event on the Walnut Street Bridge (Saturday) has been expanded to four days of activities. Included are a wine dinner on Thursday, a restaurant and brewery hop on Friday and a historic architectural tour that reminds partygoers of the purpose of the event: raising money for preservation efforts by Cornerstones Inc. Get details at


October's music calendar is full of promise. Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam have already sold out their Oct. 21 show at Memorial Auditorium. But there are still big names out there. Among them Kansas, Delbert McClinton and Bela Fleck with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera. Get event information at

Scientifically speaking

October’s full moon, arriving at 2:41 p.m. Thursday, is also a Harvest Moon, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Usually, September’s full moon is called the Harvest Moon, but this year October’s full moon was closer to the Northern Hemisphere’s autumnal equinox. So September’s full moon was named the Corn Moon instead, and the next Hunter’s Moon won’t happen until October 2018. The Harvest Moon was so-called because moonrise happens soon after sunset for several evenings in a row, which would have allowed farmers to have much more light to finish their harvest.


* 9: Columbus Day. Banks and government offices are closed. Hamilton County students start fall break.

* 31: Halloween. It falls on a Tuesday this year. Many families these days opt for one-stop trunk-or-treats rather than door-to-door trick-or-treating. Northside Presbyterian, 923 Mississippi Ave., will get an early start with a trunk-or-treat, plus hot dogs and chili and music by DJ ScubaSteve, on Oct. 25. Middle Cross Baptist Church, 4009 Norcross Road, will settle in on Halloween night for its candy giveaway and activities.

Fall festivals

September brought a bounty of festivals, but October delivers even more. Be sure to put these on your to-do list. For the complete list, see

-1: Chattanooga Market's Culturefest, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at First Tennessee Pavilion, 1829 Carter St. Free admission.

-1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29: Rocktoberfest, a celebration of German music and food, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Rock City, 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, Ga. $22.95 adults, $12.95 children 3-12.

-7: Family Fall Festival, with kids activities, music and big-screen-screen football, noon-10 p.m. Saturday at Knights of Columbus property, 7615 Lee Highway. Free admission; charge for concessions and raffles. 423-309-5133.

-7: Heritage Day, with tours of the mansion, music, vendors, kids activities, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the historic Marsh House, 308 N. Main St., LaFayette, Ga. 706-996-7970.

-7: Oktoberfest in Ooltewah, with German music and 50 vendors selling German food, beer and other products, noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Free admission.

-7-8: Autumn Children's Festival, benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m Sunday at Tennessee Riverpark, 4301 Amnicola Highway. Free admission; activity tickets 50 cents to $3. 423-778-4300.

-7-8: Barnfest, with hay rides, pumpkin painting, music and more, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, at The Barn Nursery, 1801 E. 24th St. Place. Free; barbecue plates for sale.

-13-14: Harvest of Art, show and sale of new work by Dayton Arts League members and pastel portrait painting on-site, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Rhea County Welcome Center, Highway 27 and Main St., Dayton, Tenn. Free. 423-775-5122.

-14: Pumpkintown, with 150 food and craft booths. powwow, music, canine and human contests, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday in downtown Athens, Tenn.

-14-15: New Salem Mountain Festival, with 100 vendors in outdoor setting, rain or shine, 10 a.m.-6 p.m Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at New Salem Community Center, 12477 Georgia Highway 136, Rising Fawn, Ga. $5 ages 12 and older. 706-398-1988.

-14-15: Oktoberfest, a two-day Chattanooga Market celebration with brats, beers and Bavarian bands, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at First Tennessee Pavilion, 1829 Carter St. Free admission; charges for food and products.

-14-15: Prater's Mill Country Fair, 46th annual event with 200 artists and crafters, music and living-history exhibits to benefit upkeep of the historic 1855 mill, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $7 ages 13 and older.

-14-15, 21-22: Georgia Apple Festival, 46th annual fair with 300 vendors, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays at Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 S. Main St., Ellijay, Ga. $5 ages 11 and older.

-19-28: North Georgia Agricultural Fair, 69th annual event with carnival rides, crafts, horses, wrestling and music, gates open weekdays at 5 p.m., 11 a.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday at 500 Legion Drive, Dalton, Ga. $2-$6. 706-278-1712.

-20-21: Oktoberfest, with German food, Bavarian bands, beer and dancing, 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday (all times Central) at Knights of Columbus Fairgrounds, 2892 U.S. 70, Crossville, Tenn. $7.50 ages 14 and older.

-21: Craft Show and Chili Cook-Off: Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 501 S. Moore Road, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, free admission. 423-501-1915.

-21-22: Black Bear Festival, with a classic car show, craft and food vendors, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at City Park, 1400 N. Third Ave., Chatsworth, Ga. $2 ages 11 and older.

-21-22: Cleveland Apple Festival with craft and food vendors, music, free kids' zone, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday at Bradley County Courthouse square, 155 N. Ocoee St., Cleveland, Tenn. $5 adults, $4 senior adults and children ages 4-12, $20 family pass for two adults and up to four children.

-21-22: Colorfest, with a 5K, boat tours, children's area, craft and food vendors, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central) at Brow Park, Lake Street at East River Road, Mentone, Ala. Free.

-21-22: Days of Yesteryear, with food and craft vendors, kids contests, hay ride, Tractor Olympics, tractor pulls, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central) at 17900 Highway 127, Dunlap, Tenn. Free admission. 423-554-3276.

-21-22: Ketner's Mill Country Fair, with 100 craft and food vendors, music, hayrides, tours of operational 1882 mill, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday (all times Eastern) at Ketner's Mill, between Tennessee Highways 27 and 28 near Whitwell, Tenn. $7 ages 13 and older.

-22: CCC Fall Festival, community festival with vendor booths, pony rides, music and contests, 3-6 p.m. Sunday at Collegedale Community Church, 9305 Four Corners Place. Free admission. 423-396-5464.

-26: Bird and Barn Sale, 30 vendors at barn sale to benefit Project Free 2 Fly, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday at Black Fox Farms, 2724 Varnell Road, Cleveland, Tenn. $10.

-27-28: PumpkinFest: Courthouse Square, Dayton, Tenn., Friday-Saturday schedules TBA, free; food and craft vendors, outdoor movie, pumpkin and costume contests.

-27-28: Sunflower Stables Barn Sale: Tri-State Exhibition Center, 200 Natures Trail, Cleveland, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, $5 ages 13 and older; handmade, vintage and antique items, jewelry, art and food vendors.

-28: Burning Leaf Festival: Cloudland Community Park, 284 Gadsden Ave., Menlo, Ga., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, free, arts and crafts, music, children's activities, costume contests.

-28: Halloween Festival: McCoy Farm and Gardens, 1715 Anderson Pike, Signal Mountain, 5-10 p.m. Saturday, $40 unlimited activities armbands sold until Oct. 17; Signal Mountain Middle/High School fundraiser with children's carnival games, outdoor movie, food trucks, college football on big screens for adults. Zombie run at 5 p.m., $30 per run until Oct. 17, then $35.

-28: Red Bank Artisan Festival: Unaka Street between Dayton Boulevard and Redding Road, Red Bank, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, free; street party sponsored by Red Bank Masonic Lodge with entertainment and 50 vendors.

-28-29: Chiaha Harvest Fair: Ridge Ferry Park, 363 Riverside Parkway NE, Rome, Ga., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, $5 adults, $4 senior adults and students, $1 children under 12; arts and crafts, music, kids' activities.

Play in the corn

Corn mazes have grown into a major agri-tainment adventure for area farmers. Here are six you might get lost in.

-Down on the Farm: Open Friday-Sunday through Nov. 4 at 2257 Heaton Road in Rainsville, Ala.

-Enchanted Maize: Rock City's offering is open Friday-Sunday through Oct. 29 at Blowing Springs Farm, 271 Chattanooga Valley Road in Flintstone, Ga.

-Guthrie Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze: Open Friday-Sunday through Oct. 29 at 490 County Road 67 in Riceville, Tenn.

-Mayfield Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch: Open Saturday and Sundays through Oct. 29 at 257 Highway 307 in Athens, Tenn.

-Old McDonald's Farm: Open Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29 at 16705 Coulterville Road in Sale Creek.

-The River Maze: Open Friday-Sunday through Oct. 29 at Birch Land Ocoee Farms, 1371 Highway 65 in Ocoee, Tenn.

Scare up some fun

October may be the only month that goes out screaming. You'll find several places to join in the chorus. Among them:

-Acres of Darkness Haunted Woods & Family Adventure: Open Fridays and Saturdays starting Oct. 13 at Audubon Acres, 900 N. Sanctuary Road.

-The Haunted Barn: Open every Friday and Saturday night in October at 5017 McDonald Road in McDonald, Tenn.

-The Haunted Hilltop: Open every Friday and Saturday night in October at 8235 Highway 58 in Harrison.

-Ruby Falls' Haunted Cavern: Open every Thursday through Sunday plus Halloween night at Dread Hollow, 321 Browns Ferry Road.