TVFCU Transforms A Segment Of Riverfront Parkway Into Beach-Like Destination

Friday, June 6, 2014
Riverbend Beach
Riverbend Beach

When the economy started to flail six years ago, TVFCU understood that many families would have to forgo taking a long-distance summer vacation. To help families still have a beach experience, TVFCU created a beach-like destination, Riverbend Beach, on the banks of the Tennessee River. 

Now, in its sixth year, TVFCU and community partners — WDEF News 12, SpringHill Suites Chattanooga Downtown and the Creative Discovery Museum — convert a portion of Riverfront Parkway into a mini-oceanside destination that features a variety of activities, including a 150-ton sand sculpture, tiki hut, child sandbox, prizes and live music from the TVFCU Stage. Festivalgoers can enjoy Riverbend Beach throughout the Riverbend Festival from Friday, June 6, to Saturday, June 14.

This year sand artists from Team Sandtastic in Sarasota, Fla., will transform piles of sand, donated by Monteagle Sand Company, LLC, into a 150-ton sculpture that will feature iconic images from The Wizard of Oz and Chattanooga to commemorate the release of the classic movie 75 years ago. Watch the sculpture’s progress firsthand each night until 7:30 p.m. to its completion. 

“We make it a priority to help our members enjoy the many benefits that our area offers from the great outdoors to our vibrant arts culture,” said Blake Strickland, president and CEO of TVFCU. “While our sand sculpture highlights the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, it also captures this mission and encourages festivalgoers to follow the yellow brick road to take advantage of the many benefits of living in the Tennesse Valley.”

Participants can visit the TVFCU’s deck to get a better view of the sand sculpture and then walk inside the air-conditioned tiki hut to register for a four-night stay at the SpringHill Suites Downtown Charleston Riverview in Charleston, S.C.  Festivalgoers can enter once per day during the Riverbend Festival from Friday, June 6, through Saturday, June 14.

WDEF News 12 will broadcast their weeknight newscasts live from the custom-built sand newsdesk throughout the Riverbend Festival. During each live broadcast, a winner will be selected for a Chattanooga-themed prize package.

Children are encouraged to make their own Wizard of Oz-inspired castles and yellow brick roads at the Creative Discovery Museum’s Sandbox and receive a souvenir beach photo, compliments of WDEF News 12.

After visiting Riverbend Beach, follow the yellow brick road to TVFCU’s Stage, which is tucked under the Walnut Street Bridge. The cool concrete and close proximity to the river, boasts a nice outdoor ambiance that is further enhanced by special lighting and ceiling fans, said officials. Handpainted tabletops that were designed by students from the Center for Creative Arts are available to set a dinner and drink. The tabletops will be auctioned later this year with all proceeds benefiting CCA’s Art Department.

Follow the creation of Riverbend Beach through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Join the conversation, and share photos and videos by using hashtag #RiverbendBeach.
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