RiverRocks 2012 continues this week with 60 events on the schedule through Sunday. Guided hikes, trail and road races, family canoeing, kayaking and bike rides are just some of the activities planned in the surrounding area.
Friday night features BoulderRave, a wall climbing event complete with a DJ and disco lights. Zip lines are being installed in Coolidge Park with rides from 4-7 p.m. on Friday and again on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. Cost is $10 with proceeds benefiting RiverRocks and the eight land conservancies it supports.
Saturday is filled with events; the all new ChattaJack 31 mile paddleboard race leaves from Coolidge Park at 8 a.m., then stay and watch as 1,200 rowers from around the Southeast compete in the Chattanooga Head Race rowing regatta. Spectators can take in all the action at Ross’s Landing or from the Walnut Street Bridge. The Triple Crown of Bouldering at Mott Lake and Hellbender 12 at Greenway Farms are also taking place along with hikes, kayak trips and running events.
The highlight of the RiverRocks 10-day festival will take place Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. in Coolidge Park. A new RiverRocks Adventure Kids program will be held with zip lines, a scavenger hunt, archery and many more activities and programs designed to educate future generations on the importance of an active lifestyle and preserving the environment. Juggling lessons, the Aquarium’s touch tank and live animals will also be on hand as well as slack line demos and multiple stunt bike shows.
Locally sourced food will be cooked up on the grill at the BIG Picnic, and a dining area has been set up for families to enjoy fresh food from local farms and food producers.
A free groundbreaking concert, supported in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission, is using Chattanooga’s ultra-high-speed internet capabilities to showcase a group of Tennessee musicians on the RiverRocks stage in a collaborative performance with the legendary T Bone Burnett who will be playing live from the Annenburg Innovation Lab’s facility at the University of Southern California. Scheduled for 7 p.m., Gig City Roots is a live concert and HD online streaming event (www.riverrockschattanooga.com) that uses the latest technology to connect musicians and fans. Chattanooga is the only city in America with ubiquitous gigabit per second broadband internet connectivity, and the concert will utilize the power and speed of "the gig" (200 times faster than the national average) to bring musicians together across vast spaces, in real time. With this powerful connection there is no latency and, for the first time musicians can perform simultaneously and collaboratively despite being separated by thousands of miles.
Expect a mingling of eras and genres, from classical to bluegrass, with jazz and hip-hop from Roy “Futureman” Wooten and The Circle of Harmony. Futureman, known for his role as percussionist for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, is one of the most idea-driven artists in the country. Chattanooga’s own indie band The Nim Nims, oft described as indescribable, yet clever and profound will be followed by Doyle Dykes on solo guitar. This astonishing finger style player carries on the Merle Travis/Chet Atkins tradition. Todd Snider, the funniest, most acerbic songwriting genius alive today, is described as part Will Rogers and part Bob Dylan. The only way to follow Snider is with sheer rock and roll firepower, and pianist/singer Jason D. Williams will handle that with his classic Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired sound.
Closing out the festival at 9:30 p.m. is a spectacular display -- Andrew Nigh’s wooden sculpture commissioned for the festival will be burned as a symbolic end to the festival.