County Commission Approves Riverpark Site For Chattanooga Unite Music Series

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The County Commission on Wednesday morning approved allowing Friends of the Festival to operate a music series at the Tennessee Riverpark starting this Saturday.

The former Riverfront Nights series of six shows is now branded as the Chattanooga Unite Summer Music Series. 

The group had to move after the city of Chattanooga no longer allowed the shows at the usual site - Ross's Landing Park - due to coronavirus concerns.

It is pushing on with the series despite the fact that a number of other outdoor concerts here have been called off, including the Riverbend Festival, Moon River and now Jfest. 

Commissioner Chip Baker, former longtime executive director of Friends of the Festival, said a number of steps are being put into place so that the concerts can be held safely.

He said about 2,500 normally attend the shows and that number may be less due to the new venue. He said the Riverpark has a capacity of around 40,000 people.

Safety measures will include a requirement for masks and social distancing. Chalk circles will be drawn for attendees to use.

Mickey McCamish, current director, said he has 18,000 masks available for the event for those who do not bring one.

He said private security would be on hand, as well as county rangers, in case some refuse to act safely.

Mr. McCamish said, “With Hamilton County allowing Friends of the Festival use of the Tennessee Riverpark for Chattanooga Unite, we will safely move forward, closely following the guidance of our Hamilton County Health Department and the Tennessee Pledge, which includes implementing the necessary protocols of social distancing, hand sanitizer stations, face mask offerings at no charge, clean restrooms and volunteers wearing masks.  It’s so exciting to do this much-needed healing and uniting event for our community.”

Officials said the series will remain a free concert series but there will be an August date change; the dates are July 11, 18, 25, August 8, 15 and 22. 

Officials said, "Chattanooga is in need of a uniting, a healing, an uplifting event that includes a celebration of the resurgence of summer, our community and our local economy after the height of the pandemic and the devastating tornado. Chattanooga Unite programming includes live music, a Heroes Recognition Program, local arts, food trucks, nonprofit participation, and a Kid’s Talent Program."

Beer will be served at the event. Vendors include Love on a Leash therapy dogs, Tennessee American Water Company's VIP area for dogs, the Humane Education Society, Balloon Creations and Face Painting by Deb.

Commissioner Chester Bankston cast the only no vote, though Commissioner David Sharpe said he had concerns about festival goers complying with safety rules. He said in other similar situations "a pretty large contingent refuses to comply and that tends to prevent us from getting back to school and work and it keeps our hospitals filling up."

Here is the schedule:


Signal Mountain Closes Pool After Lifeguard Tests Positive For COVID

62% Of UTC Courses To Be Completely Online; Chattanooga State To Have Only 1 Entrance And Students Must Fill Out Questionnaire

Georgia Has 42 More Deaths From The Virus; 3,250 New Cases


Signal Mountain has closed its pool after a lifeguard tested positive for COVID-19. Officials said, "We do not believe it was contracted at the pool facility. The guard’s most recent shifts ... (click for more)

Local educators informed the Rotary Club about their experiences in navigating a COVID-19 world during Thursday’s Zoom conference. Hamilton County superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson, Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Georgia state health officials reported on Thursday there have been an additional 42 deaths due to the coronavirus. The new total is 4,026. There were 3,250 new cases as that total reached ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Signal Mountain Closes Pool After Lifeguard Tests Positive For COVID

Signal Mountain has closed its pool after a lifeguard tested positive for COVID-19. Officials said, "We do not believe it was contracted at the pool facility. The guard’s most recent shifts were this past Wednesday and Saturday during the morning sessions. "Given the protocols in place, risk of exposure for patrons was extremely low. However, we feel it appropriate to provide ... (click for more)

62% Of UTC Courses To Be Completely Online; Chattanooga State To Have Only 1 Entrance And Students Must Fill Out Questionnaire

Local educators informed the Rotary Club about their experiences in navigating a COVID-19 world during Thursday’s Zoom conference. Hamilton County superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson, Chattanooga State president Dr. Rebecca Ashford, and UT-Chattanooga’s Chancellor Dr. Steven Angle shared the virtual stage. Dr. Johnson gave a brief explanation about Hamilton County’s plan to deal ... (click for more)

Opinion

Busloads Of COVID-19 Headed This Way

Peaceful protests are a constitutional right of all Americans under normal conditions. These are not normal conditions. Atlanta is a major "hot spot" of new cases and total cases of the virus. So forgive me for saying this, but Atlantans, STAY HOME! Busloads with an estimated total of 500 protestors are probably bringing coronavirus to Miller Plaza Friday night at 6:30 in ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We’re Out Of ‘Touch’

I’ve been a “people person” for all of my life and not until this past weekend did I become aware I have been suffering badly due to “lack of touch.” A lifelong friend passed along a Daily Devotional where a gifted pastor in Massachusetts mourned the fact that – get this – she had been touched by another human being only four times in the last four months. As I paused to dwell on ... (click for more)

Sports

Chattanooga FC Defender Raymond Lee Moves To USL Championship Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Chattanooga Football Club is announcing that the club has finalized a deal with Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the USL Championship that will send defender Raymond Lee to the Keystone state, pending league and federation approval. “From a club standpoint, it is always difficult to see a good player and better person leave” said Peter Fuller, Head Coach, Chattanooga FC. “But I think ... (click for more)

UTC's Sept. 3 Football Game With Western Kentucky Is Delayed

The UTC football game set at Western Kentucky on Sept. 3 will be delayed. Western Kentucky Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said, “We have had continuing discussions with Chattanooga regarding the date of our 2020 football game. Given the recent changes among many programs regarding their start date for the upcoming football season, WKU and Chattanooga have mutually agreed ... (click for more)