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 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. 

Chattanooga Kicks Off April With New ArtBurst Month-Long Celebration

Chattanooga kicks off April with a new event, ARTBURST, a month-long celebration of art, artists, and the blooming of color in spring. Each week features events designed to stimulate the senses and bring new energy into the city including outdoor art exhibitions, artful yoga, art walks and bike rides, unveiling of several new public artworks, and more. “The vibrancy ... (click for more)

Arizona Snowbowl - A Desert Oasis

High in the mountains overlooking Flagstaff, Az., on the western slope of Mount Humphreys is a year-round refuge of natural beauty and adventure. Arizona Snowbowl is noteworthy on many accounts. Opened in 1938, Arizona Snowbowl is one of the United State’s oldest continually operating ski areas. It is home to the largest beginner terrain in the Southwest, receives over 260 inches ... (click for more)

Driver Will Not Be Charged In Death Of Pedestrian In Dalton Last Thursday

The Dalton Police Department will not be filing criminal charges against a driver involved in a crash last week that killed a pedestrian who was attempting to cross Chattanooga Road near the intersection with Tibbs Road. The investigation into the incident showed that the victim was heavily intoxicated at the time of the crash, police said. The  crash happened around  ... (click for more)

Former Juvenile Court Magistrate Says Gay Marriage Is "Nothing You Put In Air Quotes"

A former magistrate at Juvenile Court, who claims she was fired by Judge Rob Philyaw because she is openly gay, said Wednesday that gay marriage "is nothing you put in air quotes." She referred to County Attorney Rheubin Taylor asking her about her ceremony in marrying another woman and raising his hands to form quote marks. Elizabeth Gentzler is suing Hamilton County, Judge ... (click for more)

Avoid Underage Drinking And Other Prom Drama

My high school prom took a dramatic turn when two guys got their tuxedo jackets mixed up. One of them belonged to my date, who kindly offered to keep my wallet in his pocket. That’s the jacket another young man mistakenly grabbed off the back of a chair before heading to an underage drinking party that got shut down by police well after midnight—as kids scattered in every direction.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sheriff’s Request

Jim Hammond will talk to members of the Hamilton County School Board on Thursday afternoon and, just like any police officer in the United States, he will request that everybody “stay in their own lane.” Some school board members tend to believe they need to help decide the best methods of protecting our children. They believe this is one of the things they were elected to do in ... (click for more)