Contributed Photo from Rock City / Rhododendrons bloom along the Enchanted Trail at Rock City Gardens. Visitors can see all the spring flowers during the Southern Blooms Festival May 8-9 and 15-16.


The Sequatchie Valley will come alive this weekend at Valley Fest in Dunlap, Tennessee.

In addition to a carnival midway, arts, crafts and food vendors are set up in Valley Fest Park, 287 Pine St. 

Everything gets underway Saturday morning with a car show and a full day of music starting at 10 a.m. (all times are Central) with Jill's Kids. An opening ceremony at 1:30 p.m. will be followed by performances by the Sequatchie River Band at 2 p.m., Bill McCallie and the In Cahoots Band at 3 p.m., Bill Hatfield and the Wild Wind Band at 5 p.m., The Beaters at 6 p.m. and award-winning country band Shenandoah at 8 p.m.

Sunday activities kick off at noon with an invocation by Ron Follett, followed by a lineup of local and nationally known artists.

Leading off is Track 145 at 12:15 p.m., Stars & Bars Band at 1:30 p.m., Cody McCarver at 2:45 p.m. and John Schneider at 3:30 p.m. (all times are Central). McCarver, who was born and raised in Dunlap and was once a member of the award-winning country band Confederate Railroad, qualifies as both a local and national star. Schneider's fans will want to visit the Dukes of Hazzard Mobile Museum, a tribute to the television show that gave Schneider his breakthrough role.

Thanks to the generosity of several sponsors, including BTC Fiber, there is no admission charge to enjoy the festivities.

Find out more at

— Barry Courter



* Thomas the Tank Engine is back on track at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, 4119 Cromwell Road, this weekend. The interactive ride takes place on a full-size train that evokes the fun of Wilbert Awdry's collection of storybooks. Sir Topham Hatt, the railway controller from the Island of Sodor, will be on hand, and families can entertain themselves with lawn games, live entertainment, miniature golf and a bubble zone, among other activities. The fun continues next Saturday and May 15-16 (no Thomas rides on Mother's Day). You'll need to buy tickets in advance at (no walk-ups allowed). Tickets are $24 for ages 2 and up. For more information, call 423-894-8028.

* Lookouts baseball: The Chattanooga Lookouts open their home season Tuesday with six games against the Rocket City Trash Pandas at AT&T Field, 201 Power Alley. Games start at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and at 2:15 p.m. May 9. Opening night is sold out, and tickets are limited for some of the other games. Promotions include Thirsty Thursday drink specials, Friday night fireworks and Used Car Night on Saturday, the first of 10 this season. General-admission tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for children 3-12 and seniors 55+. Box seats are $9 and $11 for all ages. Remember that all transactions will be cashless this season. Find out more at

* Star Wars Day: The Bobby Stone Film Series will celebrate "May the 4th" on Tuesday with three films from the sci-fi franchise. "A New Hope" will be screened at 1 p.m., "The Empire Strikes Back" at 4 p.m. and "Return of the Jedi" at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10-$12. Purchase at the Tivoli Theatre box office, 709 Broad St., or online at

* Armed Forces Day parade: Now in its 72nd year, Chattanooga's Armed Forces Day parade returns at 10:30 a.m. Friday — after being postponed until October last year and modified for coronavirus safety. The parade will start at the intersection of M.L. King Boulevard and Market Street and will move north on Market toward Fourth Street. The free event will feature military and veterans groups, JROTC units, high school bands and local businesses. The U.S. Navy is being highlighted this year.

* Lake Winnie opens: Whether you prefer the 14-story freefall of Oh-Zone, the twists and turns of the Cannon Ball roller coaster or the mechanical thrills of the Antique Cars, Lake Winnepesaukah will open its gates to guests this weekend. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Thursday hours start the following week, May 13. Unlimited rides are $29 for ages 3-59, $20 ages 1-2 and 60+. On Sundays, May 9-Sept. 26, you can get $5 off an unlimited-ride pass with a register receipt from McDonald's. Check the website,, for restrictions and for other savings offers during the season. This "dry run" at the park lasts until May 29, when Soak Ya water park opens. Lake Winnie is at 1730 Lakeview Drive in Rossville. Call 706-866-5681 for more information.

* Mother's Day Market: Don't forget that Mother's Day is May 9. For gift ideas, you might check out the Funkey Munkey Arts & Crafts Show, which will be set up Monday through May 9 near Belk at Northgate Mall in Hixson. K&S Southern Hospitality Events, which produces several seasonal festivals, has gathered a selection of handmade jewelry, artwork, home decor, woodworking, baked goods and other merchandise from dozens of artisans. More themed pop-up markets will return during the year.

* Southern Blooms Festival: Another good option for mom is the Mother's Day Tea at Grandview during Rock City's Southern Blooms Festival. The 12th annual festival takes place 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. May 8-9 and May 15-16. New this season are live fairies in Gnome Valley and 30-minute "Living Fountain" character performances featuring mime artistry in the pavilion. The tea, which has limited seating at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 9, includes timed entry to the festival and a keepsake plant. Prices for the tea range from about $25 to $43. Festival entry is just under $27 for adults, $15 for ages 3-12. For tea reservations, go to For festival information, go to Or call 706-820-2531.

* Rise fundraiser: The Partnership for Families, Children and Adults will host country singer Jimmy Wayne for a two-part fundraiser this week. Wayne, who has used his fame to advocate for at-risk foster youth, recounted his own experiences in the best-selling memoir "Walk to Beautiful," his account of being abandoned by his mother when he was 13. Registration has closed for a VIP dinner and concert on Tuesday and luncheon on Wednesday, but tickets for a virtual program starting at noon Wednesday are still available for $25. This year's fundraiser highlights the Partnership's youth services program, River City Youth Collective, which serves at-risk youth and young adults aging out of foster care. Register for the virtual link at




ATHENS AREA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS — Athens, Tenn. 423-745-8781, Arts Gala To Go, donate cost of gala ticket to receive swag bag of AACA merchandise, pick up 11 a.m.-4 p.m. through May 7 at The Arts Center, 320 N. White St. $75.

AVA GALLERY — Association for Visual Arts, 30 Frazier Ave. 423-265-4282, "Social Circles," solo exhibition by Sherry Leary, Best in Show artist of the 2020 Juried Members Show, through June 11.

HUNTER MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART — 10 Bluff View. 423-267-0968,

* "Depicting the Invisible," through May 9.

* "Baggs McKelvey: Indigo," through Aug. 30.

IN-TOWN GALLERY — 26A Frazier Ave. 423-267-9214, "May Flowers," featuring newest member Sybil McLain-Topel, through May 30.

NORTHSIDE GALLERY — Northside Presbyterian Church, 923 Mississippi Ave. 423-266-1766, "Spring Showcase," through June 22 (available online through June 30).



THE CAVERNS — 555 Charlie Roberts Road, Pelham, Tenn.

* May 2: Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, 7 p.m. $70-$90.

* May 8-9: Goose, sold out.

THE SIGNAL — 1810 Chestnut St.

* May 7: Drake White, with Ben Chapman, 8 p.m. $25.

* May 8: Struggle Jennings, with Brianna Harness, 8 p.m. $25.




* Through May 7: For Calhoun-Gordon County Public Library, visit or call 706-624-1456 to schedule an appointment for indoor book browsing or express computing, available 10 a.m.-noon and 3-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Outdoor book return service available 24/7.

* Starting May 10: Calhoun-Gordon and the Dalton-Whitfield branch will allow entry by appointment. Curbside service available at all branches, 10 a.m.-noon and 3-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

* No immediate change: Chatsworth-Murray County Public Library offers library services outside the building via curbside service.

RISE — Fundraiser featuring country singer Jimmy Wayne ("Paper Angels," "I Love You This Much"), a former foster child, to benefit Partnership for Families, Children and Adults. This year's event highlights the Partnership's youth services program, River City Youth Collective, which serves at-risk youth and young adults aging out of foster care.

* May 4: Granfalloon, 400 E. Main St. VIP dinner and concert, sold out.

* May 5: Chattanoogan hotel, 1201 Broad St. Virtual event at noon, $25 for link. Sponsorships available. Register at



NORTHSHORE KARASS PERFORMING ARTS SERIES — Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St. Concerts on hold to present a four-day film series showcasing the talents of a dozen local filmmakers, 7 p.m. May 3-4, 10-11. $5 admission. 423-267-8534,



CHATTANOOGA THEATRE CENTRE — 400 River St. 423-267-8534, "Vintage Hitchcock: A Live 1940s Radio Show," May 2 performance sold out.

THE RINGGOLD PLAYHOUSE — Ringgold Depot, 155 Depot St., Ringgold, Ga. The 2021 season opens with Neil Simon's "I Ought To Be in Pictures," 2 p.m. May 2. $10 general admission, $8 seniors/students.



WOMEN REPAIR ZONE — Classes taught by women for women. Advance payment required. Registration deadlines have 9 p.m. cutoff.

* May 10: Maximizing Your Closet Space, 6-7:45 p.m.; $20 by May 3, $25 by May 7.

* May 15: Chair Upholstery for Beginners, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; $45 by May 7.

— Compiled by Lisa Denton