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21st Century Waterfront Grand Opening Events

  • Saturday, March 19: Creative Discovery Museum Opening
    10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Inventors’ Club House, dinosaur area, Rooftop Fun Factory open. “Arthur” from the popular children’s books by Mark Brown, will be on hand to help celebrate. A ribbon cutting takes place at noon.

  • Saturday, April 23: First Street, Pedestrian Bridge and the Hunter American Museum of Art Opening, Renaissance Park Opening
    9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    First Street comes to life with public art, the incline and pedestrian bridge open. All areas will feature music, dance and working artists. The Hunter Museum of American Art opens their $20 million expansion with a special exhibition of Georgia O’Keefe. Renaissance Park will open with a dedication by local officials and outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Friday, April 29: Tennessee Aquarium’s Ocean Journey Opening, Lunch at the Landing
    8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    The Tennessee Aquarium opens its new 60,000 square foot building, Ocean Journey, featuring an amazing coral reef exhibit. A morning parade, Caribbean bands, Samba musicians and puppets will animate the entire Aquarium complex. Lunch at the Landing will encourage casual dining on the Chattanooga Green and will feature music and food vendors.

  • Saturday, April 30: The Chattanooga Pier Opening
    6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
    The Chattanooga Pier, dominated by seven, 40-foot tall masterpieces of light by artist Jamie Carpenter, will be inaugurated in the evening with an all-star swing band, dance, antique wooden boats and a movie shown under the Olgiati Bridge.

  • Sunday, May 1: Tour of Downtown Living and Public Art
    1 to 6 p.m.
    The Tour of Downtown Living and Public Art will allow citizens to enjoy organized tours of waterfront and other downtown living quarters and all the magnificent public art in downtown Chattanooga.

  • Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8: Four Bridges Art Festival
    Art lovers will flock to the Four Bridges Art Festival at the First Tennessee Pavilion and then ride shuttles to the river to stroll through the parks and enjoy the public art.

  • Friday May 13: Passage Commemoration
    10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    This celebration of art, culture and the history of Native Americans in our area will introduce team Gadugi. This group of five Cherokee artists has come together to design and create art to symbolically recreate centuries of Native American influence.

    During this day, children and families will enjoy Native American art, sports and culture. Artists, craftspeople and performers will provide demonstrations. As the sun sets, Challenger, an American bald eagle, will fly over Ross’s Landing from the Market Street Bridge to his handler on the Chattanooga Pier; a 25-voice Cherokee choir from Oklahoma will perform and then be joined by a 500-voice choir of Chattanoogans. Musicians, storytellers and dancers will perform on stage. Cherokee Chiefs Smith and Hicks will bring fire from a giant signal fire at Renaissance Park to large torches on the south side, symbolically returning to the East. Gail Ross, great-great-great granddaughter of Chief John Ross will narrate the tale of the Little Water Spider as fires burn late into the night.

  • Saturday, May 14: Grand Finale
    10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    This final celebration will begin with the art and beauty of Tai Chi performed by hundreds of people at Ross’s Landing. Scavenger hunts, hot air balloons, kite club demonstrations and performances by Allied Arts groups will entertain participants. At 2 p.m. Project Bandaloop, an internationally acclaimed team will dance on the outside of the steel of the Market Street Bridge accompanied by local hammered dulcimer artist Dan Landrum. As sunset approaches, the river comes alive with a performance orchestrated by Steven Koplowitz. A CSO performance of water and river music highlights the evening. Project Bandaloop will join the CSO – the group will once again dance on the dramatically lit Market Street Bridge. The evening ends with a laser and fireworks show.


For more information on the 21st Century Waterfront opening events, visit:

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