"Purrrrty Pillows" by fiber artist Susan Parks can be found among the works in The Art's Meow, a show and sale of art on view in August at the Exum Gallery. The fundraiser benefits The Alice Fund, a nonprofit that provides medical care and supplies for cats in need. / Photo from the artist

LISA DENTON: Barry, I was looking at the entertainment calendar for the week, and it's all over the map. And I'm not just talking about the World's Longest Yard Sale, which literally passes through five states. We've got sharks and steers and funk and gospel and book art and cat art and even a new children's festival.

BARRY COURTER: And our great friend and colleague Susan Pierce has again done the heavy lifting for the paper and compiled a list of farmers markets in our area. Do you remember back about 20 years ago BM (Before Millennials) in the dark times before the current young generation discovered farming? You couldn't find a fresh tomato back then. Now they are everywhere. Susan lists almost two dozen markets, and I don't know about you, but market shopping is fun because it then leads to eating.

LISA: That's two of my favorite things. It just so happens that we're coming up on National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 4-10, so everybody's gearing up.

The children's festival is cool because it was dreamed up by a 6-year-old named Nicholas, who says he likes going to festivals with his Uncle Corey and wanted to have his own event so people could donate toys to kids. He came up with the Kool-Aid Festival, and it'll be Saturday in Cleveland. They're asking for donations of toys and school supplies.

BARRY: That is really cool. Good for Nicholas.

LISA: I consumed a lot of Kool-Aid in my youth — I think it was the official drink of Vacation Bible School back in the day. Maybe it still is. But did you know you can use it for crafts, like watercolor and tie-dye, and even dye your hair with it? I wouldn't recommend the hair dye for you. Why would you mess with those glorious locks. But it's definitely a thing. I'm still trying to decide between Eerie Orange, Pink Swimmingo and Purplesaurus Rex as my flavor/color. Or maybe a mix of all three?

BARRY: I always chose the Suicide at the Icee window. Which if I'm honest, always seemed like a pretty extreme name for something that is just Cherry and Cola Icee mixed together. But, at 8, it was living on the edge, baby.

LISA: And we're officially in Shark Week, which means more than just a bunch of programming on The Discovery Channel. Friday, you can go to SharkFest at the Tennessee Aquarium. It's a members-only event, but you can join if you're not already a member. And Saturday, you can watch "Jaws 2" while floating in the water at Chester Frost Park. Just think about that: You're watching a shark movie on a float in the dark with your legs dangling in the water. They could show "Finding Nemo," and I'd still be nervous.

BARRY: Gosh, do you think anybody will think to swim up under somebody and yank on their legs, or did I just make that up all by myself?

LISA: I'd say the odds are good that somebody is already plotting that little bit of anarchy.

And we're coming up on the first Friday of the month, which means that lots of area galleries will open new shows. In-Town Gallery has "BookMarks," a series of paintings by Jane Newman, and Exum Gallery will have The Art's Meow, a monthlong fundraiser for The Alice Fund that features cats in many of the works.

Chattanooga WorkSpace will feature its third annual "Artists in the Wild" in which artists who use the building for studio space have created pieces inspired by animals at the Chattanooga Zoo. The works will be sold in a silent auction during the evening, with half of the proceeds going to the zoo.

BARRY: And, folks, if you haven't been to the Tivoli yet for one of the Bobby Stone Film Series movies, you have to check it out. It's a lot of fun, and this weekend they are showing two all-time classics in "Ben Hur" and "The Wizard of Oz." Can you believe the latter is 80 years old this year?

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.