Friday Five: Five Ways to Kick Off Fall

By Austin Anthony

Now that Labor Day has passed, hope reigns that humid heat waves will soon dissipate, ushering in a time of clear, cool and crisp euphoria. When our thoughts turn from summer barbecues and pool days to sweaters, football and tailgating parties, we know a new season is about to begin.

And it will when Saturday, Sept. 22, arrives, the first official day of fall.

The days of 90 degree weather, sunburns and swarms of blood-sucking mosquitoes are numbered, and before you know it, the leaves will be changing, triggering a sea of radiant red and lush orange. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the best season is upon us and listed below are five ways you can make sure you have an awesome autumn.

3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival

If Chattanooga had a soundtrack, it would definitely include bluegrass music. The genre is embedded in the Hub City's DNA.

If you can't help but tap your foot when your hear bluegrass, you might have what it takes to pick the banjo yourself! 

Or, you can save yourself the embarrassment and satisfy your need for some down-home bluegrass at the Annual 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival. 

Combining both traditional and contemporary bluegrass, this annual festival appeals to a wide age range and has featured some of the biggest names in bluegrass, such as Yonder Mountain String Band, Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, Dan Tyminski and Del McCoury. How much are tickets, you ask? Completely free. You're welcome. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.

Boo in the Zoo

Join Chattanooga Zoo for the annual family-oriented Halloween celebration with some of the most lovable and adorable animals. But, the fun doesn't stop there. Children get to hang out with some iconic cartoon characters, stop by trick-or-treat stations, enter costume contests, get crazy in bounce houses, take a pony ride, play games, get their face painted, go on a hay ride and much more. For more information, visit their website or their Facebook page.   

Wine Over Water

Nothing is better than a glass of wine.

Well, maybe the bottle.

For all of you wine lovers, we have an event for you. During this signature Chattanooga event, enjoy wine samples from more than 100 wineries, hors d’oeuvres and live music while strolling across the historic Walnut Street Bridge. There are also several off-the-bridge events throughout the weekend. Proceeds benefit the preservation of historical properties in Chattanooga. For further information, visit their website or Facebook page.

Chattanooga Brewing Company

It is our esteemed honor to welcome a new member of the Chattanooga Chamber: The Chattanooga Brewing Company. What better way to show our appreciation than including them in a Friday Five? Located on the Southside, this brewing company is home to some of the city’s most recognized beers. Chattanooga Brewing Company not only offers brews, but also a full food menu including appetizers, such as the Beer Cheese Nachos (because obviously) and entrees like the Chatt Brew Burger and the Chicken Sammy, a plate of crisp chicken tenders, roasted habañero garlic aioli, slaw and Hill City pickles. Is your mouth watering yet? Also, in celebration of Oktoberfest, Chattanooga Brewing Company has released their annual Oktoberfest beer. Aged to perfection for a light body and a crisp, clean finish, this Augustiner Märzen lager will leave your pallet singing “Ein Prosit!” For more information, head to their Facebook page or check out their website.

Dread Hollow/ Ruby Falls

While pumpkin spice and autumn foliage are great, we all know the best part of fall: getting scared silly during Halloween season. The award-winning masterminds behind Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern bring you Dread Hollow – a town built on tainted ground. From the outside, Dread Hollow appears to be like a thousand other unassuming American small towns, found in the shadows of highways and byways across the country. Traverse your way through this ill-fated town to the ghostly Belle Royale Hotel with its bone-chilling paranormal activity. Stumble into the seemingly idyllic Harley Farm where the depraved farmer reaps those who dare to trespass. Deep in the shadowy outskirts of Dread Hollow, you wander into the abandoned fairgrounds of the cursed Brine Bros. Circus, where the demented sideshow freaks beckon you to forever join them in their Cirque de Fatale. You can run, but there’s nowhere to hide from the sinister darkness covering 20,000+ square feet of pure horror with three haunts combined into one nightmare. They're waiting for you! This goes without saying, but this autumn activity is not recommended for children under 12. For ticket information, visit their website or Facebook page.