Contributed Photo by Brad Cansler / Kayoko Dan, music director of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, will lead the orchestra in the CSO's season opener Thursday at Memorial Auditorium.

With so much on the Chattanooga-area entertainment calendar, you might be surprised to know that coronavirus concerns prompted cancellations of some events that would have been on the horizon this weekend, including the Hamilton County Fair, the start of a weeklong Wine Over Water celebration and Siskin StarNight.

You should also know that a handful of concerts are sold out, including Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers at The Caverns in Pelham, Tennessee, and Casting Crowns at Abba's House in Hixson. Also, a Trident Transport cornhole tournament and a SoundCorps Buskers Bash have been postponed until October.

But there's plenty to keep you busy, including the Ironman triathlon, five theater productions and the opening of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera's 2021-22 season.

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Ironman, Santana, Chattanooga symphony's opening night


* The Arts Avenue, 1800 Rossville Ave., welcomes two acts, though Friday's show by party band Funk You is sold out. Saturday delivers An Evening With Erick Baker, a roots/rock musician, at 7 p.m; tickets are $20.

* Chattanooga Symphony & Opera celebrates opening night with a full orchestral performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. The program features Mexican composer Arturo Márquez's Danzon No. 2 and Faure's Pavane, both of which take inspiration from dance, as well as George Walker's moving "Lyric for Strings," which the CSO will perform in memory of those lost to COVID-19. Enhanced safety protocols are in place, including proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the concert. Regardless of vaccination status, all patrons must wear masks for the duration of the event. Tickets are $22-$87.

* Santana, the Latin jazz/rock band fronted by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Carlos Santana (with his wife, Cindy Blackman Santana, on drums), will be in concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. This Blessings and Miracles Tour previews the band's next album, set for release on Oct. 15. Tickets are $65-$250.

* The Signal, 1810 Chestnut St., plans three nights of music. Thursday's show by rapper Jelly Roll, with James Garcia and Still Matthews, is sold out. Friday features The Velcro Pygmies at 8 p.m.; tickets are $20-$40. Saturday brings Moon Taxi with Sparkle City Disco at 8:30 p.m.; tickets are $27-$54.

* Jackson Heights, a Nashville-based Christian/country band, will be in concert at 6 p.m. Saturday at South Seminole Baptist Church, 1201 S. Seminole Drive, East Ridge. Special guest is Chris Golden. $10 donation at the door.

* Sounds of Summer, a biweekly concert series, continues Saturday with Americana band MendingWall performing at 7 p.m. on the Market Park Pavilion Stage, 106 S. Jackson St., Athens, Tennessee. Free admission.

* World premiere: The Lee University School of Music will present the world premiere of a chamber piece by internationally recognized Chattanooga composer Douglas Hedwig at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Pangle Hall on the Cleveland, Tennessee, campus. Hedwig will be interviewed between the premiere of his "New Worlds" for trumpet, piano and soprano and a closing performance of his "A Species Stands Beyond." A reception will follow. The event is free and nonticketed. 423-614-8240



* Battle Below the Clouds, an amateur barbecue competition, returns to Ruby Falls, 1720 Scenic Highway, on Saturday. Craft beer and barbecue will be available for purchase at 11 a.m. Children's activities, college football on a large screen and chances to win door prizes are included in the day, as is bluegrass music by Lou Wamp & the Bluetastics (10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) and Barefoot Nellie & Company (2-5 p.m.). Door prizes and cook-off trophies will be awarded at 5 p.m. Admission is free for spectators. Proceeds benefit Lana's Love Foundation, which serves families affected by pediatric cancer.

* Cleveland Geekster, an expo of comic books, vintage toys, art, movie memorabilia, games and other collectibles, is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday in the Cleveland State Community College gymnasium, 3535 Adkisson Drive NW, Cleveland, Tennessee. Raffle tickets sell for $1, and the winner gets a prize package containing a memento collected from each of the 40-plus vendors. Proceeds go to charity. Admission is $5 ages 13 and up.

* The Comedy Catch, 29 Station St., features local talent Big Eddie Caylor. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday ($12-$14) and at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday ($17-$19).

* Friends of Scouting Luncheon, the largest fundraiser for the Cherokee Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, is set for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza. Guest speaker is retired U.S. Air Force Col. Mark Tillman, a 30-year veteran who served as the pilot and commander of Air Force One from 2001 to 2009, a tenure that included the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

* Museum Center at Five Points, 200 E. Inman St., Cleveland, Tennessee, has two events scheduled Saturday. Family Day is 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with children's activities, storytime and trunk shows. Admission is free for kids, $3.50 for adults. Music Under the Stars, featuring the Premier Jazz Orchestra, is 6:30-9 p.m. Come at 6 p.m. for swing dance lessons by Unity Dance Studio. The courtyard opens at 5 p.m. for picnics brought from home or purchased from food trucks on site. Tickets are $10; free for children under 12.

* National Public Lands Day, offering free access and the chance to volunteer for projects, is Saturday. It's a fee-free day at Point Park on Lookout Mountain, and interpretive tours of the Civil War site are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. There's a hike at 1:30 p.m. at Red Clay State Historic Park in Cleveland, Tenn. Volunteers are needed by the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park to clear vegetation along Sanders Road on Lookout Mountain and by the Chief Vann House in Chatsworth, Georgia, for grounds-keeping efforts.,

* Open Mic Food & Clothing Drive, a community outreach of the nonprofit foundation Blexit Tennessee, is 3-7 p.m. Saturday on the roof of the Garage Lofts, 17th and Cowart streets. For a requested donation of nonperishable food and clothing for Chattanoogans in need, guests will be treated to live entertainment, food and guest speakers.

* Pumpkin Plunge: The city of Athens, Tennessee's Parks and Recreation Department is hosting this pool party, the last of the season, 5-9 p.m. Friday at Ingleside Pool, 615 Forrest Ave. For $2, guests can swim amid floating pumpkins, then take one home when they leave.

* Torchlight Gala, a fundraiser for the Chattanooga Audubon Society, offers an evening of art and nature 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Audubon Acres, 900 N. Sanctuary Road. Activities include a raffle and silent auction, hors d'oeuvres and desserts, mead and whiskey tastings, art demonstrations, live music, torchlight nature walks and tours of Spring Frog Cabin led by Ray Zimmerman portraying Audubon Acres founder Robert Sparks Walker (1878-1960). Tickets are $55-$75.



* Biking: Cyclists taking part in the U.S. Bicycle Route 21 ride from Chattanooga to Atlanta will leave the Tennessee Riverpark, 4301 Amnicola Highway, in a mass start at 9 a.m. Friday. Their "party pace" will take them just over 58 miles to Dowdy Park in Summerville, Georgia, by end of day. USBR21 is the first federally designated U.S. Bicycle Route in Georgia and part of the National Corridor Plan aimed at connecting cities with a 50,000-mile network of routes.

* Chattanooga Red Wolves, a men's professional soccer team, play Boston's New England Revolution II at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at CHI Memorial Stadium, 1 Stadium Way. Tickets start at $14.

* Ironman Chattanooga, a triathlon requiring competitors to complete a 2.4-mile swim, 116-mile bicycle ride and a 26.22-mile run, in that order, is 6 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday. Swimmers may be seen from the Tennessee Riverwalk before they exit at Ross's Landing Park. The bicycle ride will make two round trips between Chattanooga and Chickamauga, Georgia. The run will take the athletes through two loops of downtown Chattanooga on a route that includes the Tennessee Riverwalk, Veterans Bridge, North Shore and Walnut Street Bridge before the final stretch along Riverfront Parkway to the finish line at Ross's Landing.

* Late skate: This roller-skating series, presented by Moonlight Roller and the city of Chattanooga, continues 7-11 p.m. Friday at Chattown Skate Park, 1801 Carter St. A live DJ, food trucks, drinks from The Moxy's mobile bar and a vintage pop-up market will be on site. Come at 6 p.m. for skating instruction. Admission is free. Bring your own skates or rent a pair for $7 (must be at least 18 with ID to rent).

* Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball will gather all 10 teams in the league for the Sulphur Dell Cup Championship this weekend at Clark Park, 93 Robin Road in Ringgold, Georgia (a change in venue from the regular season). The single-elimination tournament begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. Chattanooga's two teams, 4th-ranked Mountain City (7-3) and 5th-ranked Lightfoot (6-4), play each other at 12:30 p.m. on McKeever Field. Sunday's semifinal matches, which will include whichever Chattanooga team advances, start at 11 a.m. before the championship match at 2 p.m. The league plays barehanded, 1864-style baseball. Admission is free.



* Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., opens Neil Simon's romantic comedy "Barefoot in the Park" in the Circle Theatre. Performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows are Sept. 30-Oct. 10. Tickets are $15-$25.

* Lee Theatre will present "The Iliad, the Odyssey and all of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less" over two weekends in the Communication Arts Building on the Cleveland, Tennessee, campus. Five actors portray dozens of characters, speeding through Greek mythology while a timer counts down their allotted minutes. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Tickets are $7-$10.

* Mark Making, a nonprofit public art organization, will present "Steel Toes and Hired Hands" by local playwright Peggy Douglas at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday in Miller Park, 928 Market St. The poetic monologue, bridged by R&B, country and rock music, tells the stories of mill workers, domestics and hired hands in 1950s Chattanooga. Admission is free. Bring your own seating.

* Mountain Arts Theatre presents A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Oct. 2 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 3 in the newly renovated Mountain Arts Community Center, 809 Kentucky Ave., Signal Mountain. Tickets are $12-$15.

* Oak Street Playhouse introduces "The Wild Women of Winedale" from the comedic trio of playwrights known as Jones Hope Wooten. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Performances continue next weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 3. Tickets are $12-$15.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.