The Chattanooga Market announces its 2012 season opening with new community events, an abundance of vendors and a lineup of impressive musical entertainment. In its 11th season for the popular Sunday Market and now the second full season for the newer Saturday River Market, the Chattanooga Public Market continues to provide weekly opportunities for buying local. As a 501-3c nonprofit, the mission of the Chattanooga Market is to provide a platform for artists and farmers to sell their handmade/home grown goods in a low-cost environment that benefits the community through cultural enrichment and support of local economies.
Last year, vendor sales for the Chattanooga Public Market exceeded $2 million. The majority of these dollars are retained by the local vendors themselves, with only a minimal portion paying for Chattanooga Market expenses.
Chris Thomas, executive director of the Chattanooga Public Market, said, “For a small organization, the Chattanooga Market has made a huge affect on our community. We provide a storefront for small local businesses who otherwise would not be able to afford a start. Our local farmers appreciate a platform to sell their fresh picked produce weekly and thus Chattanooga has become an increasingly supportive community of buying local.”
Opening day for the Chattanooga River Market will be Saturday, March 24, on the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Popular for tourists and urban dwellers alike, the Market provides animation for the downtown area and a unique outdoor shopping experience, complete with live music. As with the original Sunday Market, the River Market features handmade, local artistry, crafts, unique gifts and a light offering of food vendors. The River Market season concludes Labor Day weekend. New this year, in conjunction with the Tennessee Aquarium’s 20 year Anniversary, several “Nighttime Markets” will occur on the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza during the season: April 28th, July 4th and September 1st. More information on these special dates to be announced.
The Chattanooga Market, held at the First Tennessee Pavilion, will be open for the season on Sunday, April 22 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in celebration of Earth Day. Boasting over 30 themed events this season, each week will feature a charity partner or agricultural tie-in. Several additions to the season include an expansion of the growingHoliday Market Too! which debuted last year at the Chattanooga Convention Center. 2012 will expand the season even further during the holidays at the Chattanooga Convention Center for shopping on Dec. 8-9, 15-16, 21-22-23.
The Chattanooga Market will continue it’s free music performances each Sunday introducing new artists as well as returning favorites. The online calendar at www.ChattanoogaMarket.com includes listings for each week’s music entertainment. Additionally, the Market Cafe, a popular lunch spot, will continue to offer local fare for market-goers.
The Chattanooga Market would like to recognize the corporate sponsors for 2012 whose support is essential in the continuation of the Chattanooga Public Markets. They are First Tennessee Bank, EPB Telecom, Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Five Star Cooking Ranges, Village Volkswagen of Chattanooga and Erlanger Healthcare Systems.
Chattanooga River Market Schedule
Saturdays beginning March 24 through Sept. 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tennessee Aquarium Plaza
*Night Markets on the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza (5-9pm) April 28, July 4, Sept. 1
Chattanooga Market Schedule
Sundays beginning April 22 through December 2, 11am-4pm
First Tennessee Pavilion
April 22 Opening Day (Earth Day)
April 29 Local Tornado Relief
May 6 Hair of the Chihuahua
May 13 Mother’s Day Celebration
May 20 EPB Strawberry Festival
May 27 Beast Feast BBQ Festival
June 3 Big Band Swingfest
June 10 Chattanoggins
June 17 Father’s Day Brew & Bluegrass
June 24 Blueberry Festival
July 1 Support Our Troops
July 8 Peach Festival
July 15 Ice Cream Social
July 22 Mountain View Bluegrass
July 29 Tomato Festival
August 5 Celebrate Local Food
August 12 Five-Star Food Fight
August 19 Live United
August 26 Erlanger Health Fair
Sept.. 2 Hot Rod Show
Sept. 3 Arts In The Park Festival (Collegedale)
Sept. 9 Harvest Festival
Sept. 16 Kickin’ Chickin
Sept. 23 Cast Iron Cook-off
Sept. 30 Chattanooga Chili
Oct. 7 CultureFest
Oct. 13-14 Chattanooga Oktoberfest presented by Village Volkswagen
Oct. 21 Cut-Up for Life
Oct. 28 Haunted Market
Nov. 4 Bark for Life
Nov. 11 Coca-Cola Big Band Day
Nov. 18 Thanksgiving Market
Nov. 25 MARKET CLOSED
Dec. 1-2 Holiday Market (Outdoor Season Finale)
Dec. 8,9, Holiday Market Too (Chattanooga Convention Center)