Music and arts lovers gather together to celebrate nature and history
An overlooked sleeping giant lies undisturbed in the heart of Chattanooga, and it is waiting for something to wake it up. Even though it has been around long enough to witness Chattanooga grow since the Paleo-Indian Period (10,000-8,000 BC), merely a small group of people even know that it exists.
The giant is the 750-acre ancient Moccasin Bend Natural Park, which lies nestled away near the Tennessee River, just minutes away from downtown Chattanooga. The park has a gateway that is accessible from Stingers Ridge, yet the grounds remain light years away with its rich history, and natural beauty.
With great intentions to draw attention to these sacred grounds, Jeannie Hacker Cerulean and the team at Love Crew Productions have collaborated and partnered with UTC, Cool Down Chatt Town, local bands, and visual artists, to produce a free, fun, educational, and interactive experience by creating the Moccasin Bend Nature, Music and Arts festival.
The festival is set to take place at the Stringers Garden Gateway, at 504 West Manning Street on Saturday, July, 30th, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., and on Sunday July 31st, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., and is being hosted in correspondence with events that are taking place at the Moccasin Bend National Park. The gateway to the National Park starts in Hill City, and stops about one mile away at the mesmerizing and historical Moccasin Bend National Park. The event should make enough noise to startle the giant out of its slumber.
The overall motivation behind the festival is to draw attention to the hallowed grounds of the Moccasin Bend National Park. Some of the grounds are currently overgrown and somewhat a mess. The gateway trail needs some maintenance, however, the park is severely underutilized, making funding and volunteers hard to come by. With the attention from the music, visual arts, kids activities, hiking, biking, paddling, slip and slide, interactive booths, plays, and special surprises, it is certain that the festival will open the eyes of the community, and help to gain the resources needed to create a more creative and manicured entrance and setting at the park.
A main focus of the festival is interaction. The original interactive play created by Jeannine Caurulio Hacker titled “A Play Coming to a Forest Near you”, offers open participation for the festival attendees. To further promote the process of interaction, the festival producers have scheduled superjams where people all unite and play music together as one, as well as making it a requirement for the hosted booths at the festival to be interactive. They want to unite people, and interaction is a great way to get people out of their shell, while bringing them together.
Well-known local bands will be playing music throughout the festival, headliners include Genki Genki Panic, One Timers, Milele Roots, Jess Goggins, The Belt, Big Time, and more.
Local artists will have artwork displayed throughout the event grounds, and are collaborating to produce original artwork for the event. Artists of all levels are encouraged to support the event and ‘a call to artists’ kite has been publically hung in the sky to bring more artists together for further art contributions and collaborations. Community-painted large murals are in the process of creation, as well as a community-created fence, and a collaborated shade cover. An art auction is also a scheduled segment of the event.
Creative Director Betsy Groves has done a fantastic job of expanding the creative aspect of the festival. Amongst many other things she corresponded with Merrill Love, who will be providing a spectacular after dark light show with his “Tree Dimensional” demonstration. Merrill creates live fractals and projects them onto various objects for a visually stunning experience; “Tree Dimensional” is often utilized by music festivals due to the captivating imagery, and bright, colorful light show. It is a highly anticipated aspect of the festival.
The Moccasin Bend Nature, Music and Arts Festival is a community minded festival that promotes art, music, theater, togetherness, environment, family, celebration, biking, the great outdoors, history, education, and it is free to attend. To have such a beautiful and ancient National Park here in our back yard is a very special thing, but it needs to become a revitalized, and well-known area. With so many likeminded people in Chattanooga, the appeal of the event should be highly contagious and spread like wildfire. Come support this tremendous cause, and experience the local hidden treasure that is the Moccasin Bend National Park firsthand.