After a long winter break, there is nothing missed more than an afternoon spent with friends and family at the Chattanooga Market. Each week, from April through December, locals and visitors alike enjoy gathering at the First Tennessee Pavilion to purchase farm-fresh produce, artisan prepared foods, artwork from local craftsmen and to enjoy the live music performances on the EPB Fiber Optics Stage. It’s a Chattanooga tradition now entering its 17th Season.
It’s perfectly fitting that another Chattanooga favorite will be throwing the largest birthday party ever during Opening Weekend on April 29-30 at the First Tennessee Pavilion. MoonPie, the locally born and nationally loved treat, will celebrate it’s 100th birthday in grand style.“MoonPie was founded in Chattanooga on April 29, 1917, and we couldn’t think of a more idyllic location to celebrate than at the Chattanooga Market,” says Tory Johnston, Chattanooga Bakery’s VP of Sales & Marketing.
Visitors will enjoy games, tastings from the world’s largest MoonPie, shop from a variety of MoonPie memorabilia and more from the MoonPie festival tent at the entrance to the Market. Vendors will be celebrating too with products featuring MoonPie ingredients or themes. And naturally, there will be an abundance of local foods, arts and traditional market offerings during this special weekend event. Live entertainment will include Sweet Georgia Sound (Saturday, 12:30-3:00pm), the Von Womps (Sunday, 12:30-1:00pm) and Brian Ashley Jones (Sunday, 2:00-3:00pm).
The 2017 Sunday Season returns with new events and plenty of the favorites—days that no one wants to miss—like the Ice Cream Social or annual Beast Feast® BBQ Festival. Chattanooga Octoberfest® will substantially expand this year, with a detailed announcement to come in a few months. Along with the food and artist vendors, every Sunday features a themed event, live music, and local food trucks making for a full day of activities.
A full season schedule can be found at chattanoogamarket.com.
Additional Market Season Openings
The Chattanooga River Market, located downtown on the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza, will open for the season on Saturday, March 18th. Each Saturday market features local artists, craftsman and food artisans with take and eat goods. There is a free community yoga class each Saturday morning at 10am with a scenic view of the Tennessee River.
Chattanooga River Market, Saturdays 10am-5pm, live music and cultural performances are always a part of the River Market—a full schedule is available at chattanoogarivermarket.com.
Cambridge Square Night Market, now in its second season, is located in Ooltewah at the mixed-use development Cambridge Square. Friday nights under the stars at this market make a great family or date night with live music and plenty of nearby dining options. Opening night for the Cambridge Square Market will be Friday, April 7th, with musical guest Megan Saunders.
Cambridge Square Night Market, Fridays 6-9pm
Cambridge Square Tailgate Market, Saturday mornings (start date to be announced)
A full schedule of events is available at chattanoogamarket.com/cambridge.
Major Expansions Announced
The Market has seen dramatic growth over the last decade, jumping from a modest 65 vendors/day to capacity-reaching attendance of 240+ vendors/day with hundreds more seeking to participate.
“Our mission to create a public marketplace for our farms, artisans and entrepreneurs continues to resonate strongly within our community, and physical space constraints have become our greatest challenge,” says Chris Thomas, Executive Director of Pubic Markets. “We’ve spent the last five years working closely with key community leaders to create solutions for our growth demands, and I’m proud to announce that we are in discussions to partner with nearly $500 million of combined real estate development projects active within Hamilton County. Our future has never been brighter, and we are grateful that so many also consider investment in local entrepreneurs to be strategic to our region’s future.”
Details on those commitments are expected in late spring/early summer.
This spring, in partnership with longtime sponsor Erlanger Health Systems, two ongoing year-around markets have been launched to provide employees and guests the onsite ability to purchase farm fresh produce, meats, cheeses and other artisan goods.
Chattanooga Market at Erlanger Medical Mall, Fridays 10:30am-1:30pm
Chattanooga Market at Erlanger East (on Gunbarrel), Wednesdays 10:30am-1:30pm
The Erlanger market schedule is available online at chattanoogamarket.com/erlanger.
And finally, construction is officially underway on the Collegedale Commons, future home of the Collegedale Market. A grand opening & holiday market is currently being planned for early winter 2017. A multi-day market with themed events is planned for 2018 and beyond. Visit collegedalemarket.com for updates.
A special thank you to the 2017 sponsors of the Chattanooga Market: EPB Fiber Optics, Erlanger Health Systems, Mountain View Auto Group, First Tennessee, Springer Mountain Farms and the Tennessee Aquarium. Media sponsors for the Market are Chattanooga Magazine, Chattanooga Times-Free Press and radio stations Sunny 92.3, HITS 96, WUUQ Classic County and ALT 93.9.