Rock City's Southern Blooms Festival Is May 3-5

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Guest speakers, food, music, art and garden tours full of beautiful blooms are showcased in an “all things southern” event at Rock City Gardens May 3-5, the Southern Blooms Festival. This 5th annual event running daily from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. honors Rock City’s original gardener, Frieda Utermoehlen Carter.

This year’s Southern Blooms features southern chef, writer and TV personality, Virginia Willis, to share some cooking secrets and fun tips during a workshop on Saturday. Some of her recipes are also being served at Rock City’s new outdoor restaurant Café 7 during the event, including a special menu item featuring moon pies.  Ms. Willis is author of Bon Appetit, Y’all! and is the former kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living Television.

Other speakers during the weekend include Andy Offutt Irwin, speaking on Sunday and Felder Rushing speaking on Friday. Mr. Irwin is a southern storyteller, writer, musician and recent winner of the “Storytelling World Award” for his latest cd Risk Assessment. Rushing is the founder of the “Slow Gardening” movement and has authored several books. All speakers are available for meet-and-greets and book signings after their workshops.

Morning group tours of Rock City Gardens are being offered daily at 9 a.m., led by Rock City’s Director of Horticulture George Schimpf and Chattanooga’s Master Gardeners (limited space available). Coca-Cola is also sponsoring a “Build-Your-Own Rain Barrel” workshop each day. Check out the full event schedule with specific times at www.seerockcity.com/southernblooms and come back for free by purchasing an annual pass.

As Rock City continues its community partnerships with each special event and festival, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank is a featured community partner during Southern Blooms. They are also leading an interactive make-and-take “Create your own Pizza Garden” workshop daily. 


Unique Family Getaways: Perdido Key Pirate Fest

No black flags fly above the clear turquoise waters of Perdido Key these days. Most of the time, the only pirates who frequent these parts are the Pirates of Lost Treasure, a local Mardi Gras krewe. However, all that will change on Oct. 25-26, when an eager horde of buccaneers will descend on the shores of Big Lagoon State Park for two fun-filled days of family piracy. ... (click for more)

TVRM’s Historic Steam Locomotive #4501 Is Ready For Tennessee Valley Railfest

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) on Wednesday announced the return of its iconic Steam Locomotive 4501 to operation. TVRM has been restoring Locomotive 4501 over the past three  years and she will make her public debut at Tennessee Valley Railfest on Sept. 6 and 7.  The locomotive last ran in 1998 and has patiently waited for a complete overhaul.  ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library - And Response

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)