Staff file photo / This year's Lighted Boat Parade is scheduled Friday. The event is preceded by Reindeer on the Riverfront on the Chattanooga Green.

No one ever gets tired of seeing Santa Claus around town, but it's extra exciting when he has the reindeer in tow, as he's planning Friday in downtown Chattanooga.

The occasion is Reindeer on the Riverfront, a gathering for families on the Chattanooga Green, to be followed by the Lighted Boat Parade.

Jill Price, administrative assistant for the riverfront location of Erwin Marine Sales, said "at least 20" boats are expected, "and a lot of times others will just show up."

Boats bedecked with holiday lighting are welcome to join the lineup, which starts at 6:15 p.m. just north of the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club. The parade beneath the bridges downtown, where they'll be joined by the Southern Belle riverboat, is scheduled from 7 to 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, on dry land, families can see the reindeer, pose for photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, sing along as a DJ spins holiday tunes and enjoy refreshments from the hot cocoa bar and food trucks. Children can even write their letters to Santa on site and personally deliver them to the man in the sleigh.

Not all of the reindeer are expected to make the trip South, though.

READ MORE: What's open and closed on Thanksgiving in the Chattanooga area?

"It's not the full eight assortment," said Marcus Ellsworth, program manager at the River City Co., an organizer of the event. "They're in high demand, but we managed to snag a couple of them."

And Rudolph, with his glowing red nose, is always conspicuously absent at these sorts of events.

Still, Ellsworth said, "it will be a nice evening on the riverfront."

A fireworks show will end the evening. Ellsworth advised arriving early as a crowd is expected.



— Battles for Chattanooga: The final program commemorating the Civil War battles of Nov. 23-25, 1863, is at 11 a.m. Thursday at Point Park, 110 Point Park Road, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. "The Battle of Missionary Ridge" gives participants a chance to view the entire length of the ridge from the Parrot-gun overlook. There is a $10 entrance fee for Point Park for ages 16 and older.

— EPB holiday windows debut to the public Thursday at EPB headquarters, 10 W. M.L. King Blvd. Vignettes are on display on the Broad and Market street sides of the building through Jan. 3.

— Reindeer on the Riverfront and Lighted Boat Parade events are 4:30-8 p.m. Friday at the Chattanooga Green, 140 Riverfront Parkway. Live reindeer, Santa and Mrs. Claus are available 4:30-7:15 p.m.; lighted boat parade, 7-8 p.m.; fireworks at 8 p.m. Includes fire pits, food trucks, holiday music.

— Dalton Christmas tree lighting is set for 6 p.m. Fridayat Burr Performing Arts Park, 101 S. Hamilton St. in Dalton, Georgia.

— The Comedy Catch, 29 Station St., welcomes Jen Kober in special engagement. Shows start at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday ($20-$25) and at 7:30 p.m. Sunday ($17-$20). Wednesday is Open Mic Night for local and regional talents, 7:30 p.m. ($5).

— Gingerbread workshops begin Friday at Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St. The two-hour sessions include all supplies and refreshments. There's a limit of three participants per house. Cost is $44 for members, $55 for members (includes museum admission). Sessions are available on select dates through Dec. 19.

— Parent/child gingerbread workshops begin Saturday at Sweet & Savory Classroom, 45 E. Main St. The three-hour sessions, recommended for children 5-11 and a parent, include secrets to baking gingerbread, making royal icing and creating the structure. More sessions are scheduled in December. Cost is $86.

— Family Day is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Museum Center at Five Points, 200 E. Inman St., Cleveland, Tennessee. Children's activities will be interspersed with storytime at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and trunk shows at noon and 2 p.m. Free for kids, $3.50 adults.

— Holiday trunk show, with vendors offering arts, crafts, jewelry, soaps, ornaments and home decor, is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Pocket Park, 108 N. Jackson St. in Athens, Tennessee.

— Book signing: Local author David Carroll signs copies of "Hello Chattanooga: Famous People Who Have Visited the Tennessee Valley" 11 a.m.-noon Saturday at Food City, 255 Ocoee Crossing NW in Cleveland, Tennessee.

— Thanksgiving in Mountain Cove, sponsored by Bike the South, offers a half-day backroad biking loop through a historic area of Chickamauga, Georgia, followed by a community Thanksgiving dinner with local farmers. The ride leaves at 2 p.m. Saturday from Cedar Grove Community Center, 5395 W. Cove Road. Cost is $99.

— Buy a Tree, Change a Life kickoff is 3-6 p.m. Saturday at Mercy Ridge Church, 432 Mack Smith Road, Rossville. Activities include cookies and storytime with Santa, reindeer food bar, inflatables, games, train ride for kids and free popcorn, hot chocolate and apple cider. Tree sales begin at 10 a.m. All proceeds go toward local and global children's missions.

— Bledsoe County Christmas parade, with a "Silver Bells" theme, is 5-7 p.m. CST Saturday in downtown Pikeville, Tennessee. 423-322-0932

— Girls Inc. continues its online auction through noon Sunday. Among the items up for bids are Disney, Hawaii and ski vacations, custom gift baskets and gift cards to local restaurants and attractions.

— "Winter Wonderland" DIY: Pinspiration Chattanooga, 2275 Gunbarrel Road, offers this family craft session at 2 p.m. Sunday. There's a woodland scene for adults to craft and two ornaments for the kids to personalize. Cost is $75.

— Pet photos with Santa, the first of the season, are scheduled Monday at three area malls: 2-7 p.m. at Bradley Square Mall, 200 Paul Huff Parkway in Cleveland, Tennessee; and 4-7 p.m. at Hamilton Place, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd., and Northgate Mall, 271 Northgate Mall Drive. See websites for additional dates:,,

— Angel Trees are on display at Chattanooga's two malls. This Salvation Army campaign provides toys to needy children and essential items to seniors based on the recipients' individual wish lists, as chosen and fulfilled by shoppers. Gifts must be returned by Dec. 12 at Hamilton Place, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd. (tree is on the upper level near Altar'd State) and at Northgate Mall, 271 Northgate Mall Drive (tree is near Colony 13).,



— Songbirds, 35 Station St., welcomes alt-rock jam band the Afternooners, with Dolphin Group and Cannon Hunt, for a show at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10-$12.

— MacDowell Music Club: This month's meeting will feature piano performances by Steve Hollingsworth, Joy Mays, Margaret Ann Randolph and Alan Nichols. Start time is 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1505 N. Moore Road.



International Market and More: This event by Art 120 falls on Artists Sunday, a nationwide marketing effort on the day between Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday that is meant to spotlight merchandise by artists, crafters and markers. Chattanooga's creatives will gather between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Cooper's Alley, 10 E. Seventh St. Street food will be available.

— Area 61 Gallery, 721 Broad St., features works by Katie Rogers, Lisa Denny and Paulina Fae through November.

— Artisan Depot Gallery, 204 Cumberland St., Cowan, Tennessee, continues the community show "On This Harvest Moon" through Sunday. A member show by Mackie Priest, "Lines and Color," is on view through Dec. 24.

— In-Town Gallery, 26A Frazier Ave., closes out its Annual Holiday Show, featuring giftable items from all member artists, on Tuesday, before opening "Water and Light" by Jim Tucker on Wednesday.



— Athens Community Theatre presents "Clue: On Stage" at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Arts Center, 320 N. White St. in Athens, Tennessee. Additional showtimes are scheduled next weekend. Tickets are $15-$20.

— Cumberland County Playhouse, 221 Tennessee Ave. in Crossville, Tennessee, has performances of "Scrooge" ($16-$32) and "Plaid Tidings" ($16-$30) scheduled this weekend. 931-484-5000,

— Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. opens the next title in its Broadway series, "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The show, which runs through Dec. 2, features more than 20 hits by the disco diva. Tickets are $38-$83.

— Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St., will host Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a holiday-themed Broadway musical presented by circus performers, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $44-$99.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.