A new festival is coming to Chattanooga designed to celebrate and support the area’s natural assets. RiverRocks, scheduled for Oct. 1-10, will be ten days of play with a purpose.
“Chattanooga is one of the top destinations for outdoor recreation,” said event founder Mike McGauley. “RiverRocks will be one of the nation’s premiere outdoor festival, showcasing our natural resources and the activities they inspire with a mix of outdoor action, entertainment and family-friendly activities.”
More than 40 events are planned during RiverRocks ranging from gentle thrills aboard hot air balloons in Coolidge Park to kayak races and peak performance events such as rock climbing, mountain biking and trail running.
“We have a packed event schedule that’s very appealing to a broad range of visitors,” said Stormy McGauley, RiverRocks co-founder. “If you’re a top athlete, there’s ample opportunity to compete against others from around the region. But if you enjoy a more leisurely pace, the RiverRocks schedule includes laid-back activities such as geocaching, casual bike rides or a sunset paddle on the Tennessee River. The point is getting out and getting active.”
McGauley and others involved with the new, not-for-profit RiverRocks corporation plan to use proceeds from the event to support the local organizations protecting the lands used by outdoor enthusiasts and enjoyed by everyone. RiverRocks will help support the efforts of the following eight conservation organizations:
Tennessee River Gorge Trust
Trust for Public Land
Lula Lake Land Trust
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Cumberland Trail Conference
Lookout Mountain Conservancy
Friends of Moccasin Bend
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Botanical Garden
Over 60,000 acres of land are being conserved within 15 miles of downtown Chattanooga. Nearly one third of that is being protected by the Tennessee River Gorge Trust. “Part of our mission is sustainable use of the land we’re protecting,” said Jim Brown, TRGT’s executive director. “River Rocks promises to provide the Tennessee River Gorge Trust exposure to a fresh new audience of recreationist and sightseeing enthusiasts, as well as ensure vital funding support for the Trust’s mission of land protection.”
Chattanooga may be one of the few cities in America where work and play are truly side by side. Word of the Scenic City’s fresh-air lifestyle has been spreading across the nation recently. Chattanooga has been:
Named one of the top bike-friendly cities in the United States by Bicycling magazine
Designated in the top “10 Dream Towns to Live Big, Play Hard, and Work (if you must)” by Outside magazine
Called one of the “Best Adventure Towns in the U.S. to Live + Play” by National Geographic Adventure magazine
Bob Doak, president and CEO, Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau said, “RiverRocks will add to the city’s outdoor accolades and encourage a new surge of Chattanooga visitors and outdoor enthusiasts for this new event and throughout the year.
The 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival and Wine Over Water coincide with the RiverRocks activities and musical acts adding to Chattanooga’s appeal during early October.
Organizers predict RiverRocks will continue to grow over the years, solidifying Chattanooga’s place as the Boulder of the East. “This first year will help focus attention on the family-friendly ways we can connect with the natural environment while enjoying the benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle,” said Mike McGauley. “By supporting the area’s conservation organizations we’ll enjoy another benefit - retaining and attracting the next generation of creative, bright people to lead our companies and community.”
For the complete RiverRocks event schedule and additional information go to: www.RiverRocksChattanooga.com