Five neighborhoods from Main Street to Glass Street will launch a series of “block parties” celebrating what makes each neighborhood unique and special during the inaugural Chattanooga City Celebration and Ciclovia on Sunday, Oct.
29. Musicians and dancers will perform. Artisans and craftspeople will demonstrate and sell their products. Food trucks, local restaurants and community groups will share their favorite foods. And with Halloween just around the corner, everyone is encouraged to dress up and jump in at the block party costume contests.
The block parties will be strung out along a four-mile route with a protected car-free lane to allow everyone to safely enjoy the journey between parties without having to drive. (CARTA will also provide free shuttles.) Complete details including schedules and a route map are at www.chattanooga-celebrates.com.
“We really want the event to be interactive, so we’ll have games, dancing, art projects, activities for the kids -- anything to get people engaged,” said City Celebration Director Shannon Burke. “We’re working hard to pack each party with as much fun stuff as possible to encourage everyone to explore the whole route – with lots of Halloween surprises. And it’s all free.”
The event will run all afternoon and gradually progress from west to east with each neighborhood party lasting around two hours. Each party will have a unique theme, and all of them will have music, food, entertainment and activities. The first party will be at the Stove Works development on Holtzclaw near Main Street from noon to 2 p.m., and the last party will be at the intersection of Dodson Avenue and Glass Street from 3-6 p.m., with a grand finale parade starting at 5:30 p.m. In between, there will be block parties in Highland Park, Ridgedale, and Orchard Knob.
According to local bicycle and greenways advocate Jim Johnson, who conceived the City Celebration, “The idea is to give Chattanoogans the opportunity to see the city and its communities in a different light. To see neighborhoods they wouldn’t normally see. To interact with others they normally wouldn’t interact with. And by making this a biking and walking event, we’re encouraging people to get out of their cars and connect with each other in a fun, unique and energizing way.”
Funding for the City Celebration & Ciclovia is provided by the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, the Footprint Foundation, the Benwood Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation, and the Riverview Foundation, with additional support from numerous community partners.