Spectator's Guide to RiverRocks 2014: Weekend 1-2

Samantha Christen
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What is RiverRocks? Despite entering its 5th year to grace October in the Scenic City, it's quite possible that you've never partaken in a RiverRocks event, that you have no clue what RiverRocks is, or that you've heard of RiverRocks, but would struggle to define what exactly it is if put on the spot.

And you're to be forgiven, because RiverRocks, as an idea, isn't easily described in an elevator pitch at a cocktail party. Is it an outdoor festival spanning an entire month? Is it a series of outdoor adventure competitions for outdoor enthusiasts and elite-level athletes? The answer is resoundingly both, and with over 20 events held throughout the month of October, getting the most out of RiverRocks requires a fair bit of planning. The purpose of this guide to RiverRocks Weekends 1  & 2 is to make that planning process easier for you and to provide the information you need to enjoy one of the best months to live and play in Chattanooga.

Weekend 1


Blue Grass on the River:  October kicks off with two amazing nights (and one Saturday) of bluegrass music at Ross' Landing. The 3 Sisters Music Festival celebrates world class bluegrass in Chattanooga for FREE! Previous performers include Yonder Mountain String Band, Solas, Emmitt-Nershi Band, Hot Rize and Dale McCoury. For dancing, food and beverage concessions, and a wonderful weekend of music on the river at Ross' Landing, 3 Sisters will get you moving in step.


Trail Racing on the Cumberland Plateau: On Saturday October 4th, trail runners from around the nation will join on the starting line of the the annual Rock/Creek StumpJump 50K . The StumpJump has become one of the nation's most respected ultra trail races, and it takes runners over spectacular terrain that provides them staggering views of the Tennessee River Gorge. For competitors, the race is a momentous occasion, both emotionally and physically, but it's also highly worth attending as a spectator or volunteer. The excitement and general zest for life at StumpJump is palpable and you'll leave Signal Mountain High School on Saturday afternoon feeling elated.

Weekend 2

Starting on October 9th, RiverRocks moves into full swing with 8 events between Thursday the 9th and Sunday the 12th.

The South Soul Dance Family

Music on Main Street:  On Thursday October 9th from 6pm-8pm, enjoy the smooth, funky sounds of The South Soul Dance Family , and help celebrate RiverRocks! Come one, come all to this FREE MUSIC night. This is a family-friendly event that will be held in the outdoor space at the get BUILT Chattanooga CrossFit gym located at 301 W Main St, Chattanooga, TN 37408. Get Directions  and join the event on Facebook.

Fly Free Fest

Music Festival in North Georgia: The Fly Free Fest takes place from October 10th-12th at Cherokee Farms in Lafayette, GA. Billed as a bluegrass, jam band, and electronica festival, according to Nooga.com, Fly Free Fest brings together a strong musical lineup at more affordable rates than larger music festivals. Plus, the lines are a fraction as long. Visit the Fly Free Fest website for information on ticket packages, and for additional information about the Fly Free Fest, read this article from Nooga.com . Get Directions .

Samantha Christen

A regatta to rival the Thames: Starting on October 11th at 7am,   1200+ rowers from around the southeast converge on Chattanooga during RiverRocks to represent their crews, their clubs, and their schools. The color and pageantry of this ancient sport is displayed on the banks of the 21st Century Waterfront. Pick a spot on a bridge or join the crowd at Ross’ Landing to cheer for your favorite crew.

Jeff Bartlett

Chattanooga's long-distance mountain biking race:  Over the past decade, Chattanooga’s burgeoning reputation as a mecca for outdoor recreation has spawned a full slate of signature events. But, for many years, a major piece was missing from that puzzle: a long-distance mountain bike race. That's changed with the Lula Lake 5 Points 50 , which will take place on October 11th at 8am on Lookout Mountain, GA at the beautiful Lula Lake Land Trust . Get directions .

Swim the Suck

Swim the Suck: At 9:30 on October 11th, long-distance swimmers will be gathering on the banks of the Tennessee River at the Suck Creek Boat Ramp. Staring into the gorge, they will race 10 miles in open water, and an after party will be held at the Pot House on Pot Point Road. Karah Nazor started Swim the Suck in 2010 in honor of her grandmother and mother, who'd spent their childhoods swimming at the confluence of Suck Creek and the Tennessee River. The race has grown in prestige, and this year Olympians and world record holders will be racing in the mighty Tennessee. Get Directions .

Roof Top Hop

Rooftop Hop : After a day spent playing, competing, or spectating, it's time to share stories with friends. Arguably Chattanooga's party of the year, the Rooftop Hop wants you to eat, drink, mingle, hop, and repeat. Hop to 4 amazing rooftop parties on a fall evening and enjoy incredible views of Chattanooga from above, delicious food, and cocktails. After hopping around town, the evening's main event is live music atop the Citipark Garage. Ticket prices vary, and the proceeds go to Green|Spaces .


L2 SUP Race:  Starting at 11am on Sunday October 12th, and coordinated by L2 Boards, this standup paddleboard race is a chance for athletes of all ability levels to get on the water and have some fun.  With three and six mile race course options, as well as a Junior Division (which starts earlier at 9am), there will be prizes and awards for the winners, live music, and a great time for everyone.

We hope this has been helpful. Stay tuned for our guide to RiverRocks Weekend 3. We'll see you out there!

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