Off the Couch: Kids' talent is on display at Songbirds this week, St. Patrick's Day celebrations coming up in Chattanooga

Off the Couch: Kids' talent is on display at Songbirds this week, St. Patrick's Day celebrations coming up in Chattanooga

March 11th, 2019 by Barry Courter and Lisa Denton in Local Regional News

Bob Shankleton, left, and Mairead McManmanom march in the 2018 St. Chatty's Day Parade. This year's parade to celebrating St. Patrick's Day will be Saturday.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

LISA DENTON: Barry, it seems a little premature to wish "top of the mornin'" to you, but I spy with my little eye all things green coming up this weekend. St. Patrick's Day is Sunday, which means that there are all sorts of ways to celebrate, including the annual St. Chatty's Day parade on Saturday.

Like last year, they'll start on the Southside, going from Main Street to Market Street and ending on M.L. King Boulevard at Miller Park. Afterward, there's an Eat Drink & Be Irish celebration at the Moxy hotel, then The Honest Pint will host the Party on the Parkway after that.

Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

BARRY COURTER: What can be better than green beer? Actually, lots of things, but I digress.

It's a pretty busy week with some cool events on the calendar. The Black Jacket Symphony has a sold-out show on Thursday. They are doing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" with Marc Martel singing the Freddie Mercury parts as he did in the movie of the same name.

On Tuesday, I will be judging the Spring Break Talent Contest qualifying round at Songbirds. This is for performers under 18. I see on the calendar that Channing Wilson will be at Songbirds on Saturday night. He's another of our very talented local performers who has had a great year. He co-wrote "She Got the Best of Me," which was a hit for Luke Combs.

LISA: I'm glad to hear the performers are kids, because Spring Break Talent Contest sounds like it would involve bikinis and mai tais.

BARRY: Nothing wrong with either, but I see your point.

LISA: I immediately thought of the new USA Network show "Temptation Island," which includes former Chattanoogan Katheryn Golden among the single women looking for love. I'm not always awake past 10 p.m. to watch what happens, but I try to catch up with the online recaps, and those snippets are steamy enough.

Seeing all those gifted, accomplished kids in the talent contest sounds like fun. Speaking of which, let me tell you about my grandson. Just kidding. No need to tell you when I can set up the slide show.

Seriously, isn't this a bit of a departure for you? Don't you usually insist on judging competitions that involve food?

BARRY: Food competitions are my sweet spot, so to speak, yes, but I also love passing judgment on local musicians. You know the old saw: Those who can, do; those who can't, teach; and those who do nothing, judge.

I kid, of course, but we have a lot of talent locally, and it's great to be a part of it in any way I can and greater still to see Songbirds doing this for young folks. I can't imagine having the opportunity to perform in the same space as the giants in the industry who have been there in the last two years.

Get event information every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

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