Riverbend kicks off Friday night with new sights and sounds - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Riverbend kicks off Friday night with new sights and sounds

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- It's a 30 year tradition and it kicks off Friday evening; the annual Riverbend Festival is ready to roll into action.

The media was granted a special tour on Thursday and we got a peek at what to expect when the gates are open.

It'll be all you remember and more: food, drink, heat, people, and music. Lots of music.  Music and entertainment through Saturday, June 16th.

Among the new sights are a new stage under the Olgiati Bridge, on what's called the festival's west end, which promises the New Orleans experience with blues, jazz, and zydeco music.

Other new attractions include UTC and Chatt State will be recruiting at an area called College Town, a 70-foot Ferris Wheel for a true bird's eye view of the 21st Century Waterfront, and for the adventurous there's a downhill long-board course.

Plus bright and early this Saturday morning, for those who may be into the mud races or extreme fitness, there's the Riverbend Adventure Challenge.  It's a race that combines scaling walls at the Walnut Street Bridge, paddling the Tennessee River and running the running trails.

Chattanooga councilwoman Sally Robinson was one of the founders of Riverbend.  She says it's come a long way in 30 years.  

"It's been called 'Chattanooga's Annual Reunion on the River' and I know, speaking for myself, it's been a gathering place for my family," she says.  "All my kids are coming and now, all of my grandkids are coming.  So, hey, it's a multi-generational thing and you can have a good time at Riverbend."

Once you're at Riverbend, be sure to check our mobile site - m.wrcbtv.com - for weather and festival updates and nightly line-ups.

Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. The first headliner is country music singer Eric Church.  


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