Top Events in Chattanooga That Happen on the Tennessee River

The pristine blue waters of the Tennessee River have brought abundance and progress to Chattanooga for centuries. The river served as a gateway for Native Americans to explore the southeastern regions of the country before it became an access point for commerce. The Tennessee River benefits Chattanooga by serving as a picturesque venue for the city’s most popular events. So, if you want to witness the beauty of the Tennessee River and Chattanooga, head over to the riverbanks to experience these events.

Fireworks at Riverbend Festival

Riverbend Festival

The Riverbend Festival is an annual musical event that started in June 1982 – and it seems that it will be making a comeback this year! The organizers, Friends of the Festival, have already submitted permit requests for the event and are only waiting for approval from the city government. The organizers are bringing the Tennessee River to life on October 8-10 through various live music performances.

In previous years, the Riverbend Festival featured around a hundred musical acts set up on different stages along the riverbank. The festival was also awarded various recognitions from the International Festivals and Events Association and has been able to draw a crowd of more than half a million attendees. Though the crowd might be a little smaller this year, Tennesseans can expect loads of musical fun and entertainment!

hand of playing cards

Chattanooga Poker Run

The famous Old Hickory Fun Run, Raft-up, and Bar Crawl has moved from Nashville to Chattanooga after participants sought clearer and safer waterways for navigation. Interested participants can join as long as they have a reliable powerboat for transportation. During the Poker Run, participants have to navigate the Tennessee River to collect a card at each stop and complete their poker hand. Although this isn’t a traditional version of the game, poker hand rankings are the same across the board. The lowest ranking hand is a high card and the best you can get is a royal flush. The top three participants with the best hand win! It is a fun way to spend a day on the Tennessee River. No date has been set yet for this year, but do keep an eye out for announcements! Last year’s event took place on July 31- August 1.

performers on stage at the 3Sisters Bluegrass Festival

3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival

If you’re a fan of acoustic sounds, then you might enjoy being serenaded with bluegrass music along the Chattanooga’s riverbank. The 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival has been gracing the city with bluegrass music for over a decade now. This year’s show will be held between October 1-2, as cited in the guide to the festival. The event features musicians from all over America, and admission is 100% free!

Southern Belle Riverboat on the TN River

Party Gras

Dress up and join the crowd for Chattanooga’s annual Party Gras celebration! This year’s gathering will be on August 14 and will end one hour after midnight. Partygoers can expect poetry, comedy, and live performances during the morning. When the sun sets, however, the crowd will board the Southern Belle riverboat for a cruise along the Tennessee River. The boat will welcome you with free margaritas and will feature three different party decks with exclusive DJs. Participants are encouraged to dress up in fun and classy outfits that will be comfortable for a whole day of partying!

These events are some of the finest experiences that Chattanooga can offer. If you want to have the best time of your life, then head over to the Tennessee River to enjoy the music, play poker, and party for a whole day through one of these celebrations!

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