A Night out at Riverbend

Tonight was a good night of experience. I decided to go out to Riverbend with my mother since she wanted to go and enjoy herself listening to Chattanooga’s Summertime Block Party, downtown Chattanooga, and no one else wanted to go with her.

Tonight’s feature was The Happy Together Tour, made up of artists from the 60’s and the 70’s. The Buckinghams and The Grass Roots were pretty good, but I was waiting to hear more from The Turtles and Gary Puckett. Mickey Dolenz, from The Monkees, was also a huge hit at Riverbend tonight.

It was pretty nice, all except for the walk of about ten city blocks to save on free parking. Still, it was a good night to get out and listen to some music. It sprinkled on us quite a bit during the show, and because it’s all done outside, we felt every drop that hit us.

Along with the music, there are also booths available for vendors to rent during the eight-day stretch of entertainers. Prices, I believe, vary from booth to booth, depending on size and location of the booth required. We stopped at a few of the booths to pick up some free goodies, then continued on to sit on a stone henge at the side of a walkway at eight-thirty to listen to the music.

I chose, at some point of our evening, to walk back to the car. Guests to the festival are not allowed to bring drinks and food with them due to vendors being at the festival offering everything that could be wanted or needed. However, they don’t, as far as I have seen, offer Mt. Dew. So, I went for the ten block walk back to the car.

Along the way, I stared up at the towering buildings of downtown Chattanooga. I saw many lights on, though I didn’t see any movement coming from the windows. I got to see the not-so-new AT&T Field, or at least the entrance area of it, and also got to see many people walking and talking with friends along the way.

Seeing all of the life that downtown has to offer made me realize just how much I have been missing out on. I paused several times during my walk to take a moment so that I could get a better understanding of the movement around me. It was literally breathtaking. For a single moment in time, I actually felt like I was standing completely still while everyone else was running this way or that. Movies give a good representation of the event that I am referring to, but to experience it in person is something altogether different.

I paused at the intersections to wait on the lights to change, and while I was waiting, I took the time to look around, up and down the clear streets to the buildings that are abundantly available. There are several buildings with office space or other rooms available to rent, which is kind of surprising to me, but they’re in a nice location.

I finally made it to the car after seeing that it was 7:42pm, and put some things into the car that we had gotten from the festival, then grabbed one of my sodas and closed the car back up.

On my walk back to the festival, I saw many couples walking hand-in-hand and friends that looked like they were enjoying themselves. I could only stop and consider what the feeling must be like. I didn’t consider the possibilities for too long, though I did give it a thought or two while I walked.

I passed by the bank that offers the time and weather in degrees to see that it was eight o’clock and knew that I had better hurry if I wanted to catch the beginning of the performances. So, I kept my pace and continued up Broad Street until I arrived at the intersection that I had to turn at. I made the left and walked down to Chestnut, then through the gates and into a crowd of people who were there for the festival. The weather report from one of the local stations had begun while I was in the middle of the road, so I knew they were about to start the series of shows.

I hurried on through the gates and through the crowd of people, letting a few of them catch my attention for a moment as I passed by them. They were enjoying the company of a loved one, a friend, or simply talking on a cellphone walking along.

I made it back to the stairs at Ross’ Landing, the section of downtown Chattanooga that has a couple docks, a pier or two, and also doubles as the seating area for the Riverbend Festival. I walked on down to where I knew my mother was waiting for me and took a seat beside her. Shortly after, the band came out and began to play.

I’ll admit, I hadn’t before seen or heard much of the artists that appeared. I also have to admit, though, that I have heard many of the songs that were performed live on stage, and sang along with quite a few of them.

While sitting at the edge of a walkway, I glanced at passersby and people who chose to sit haphazardly in the grass and along the walkway. There were people from all age ranges there to enjoy the music. People from all walks of life and neighborhoods came together to enjoy the music that was being performed. I am not able to list all of the stereotyping labels of people that I saw, but I can and will say that there were many music lovers who showed up to see one or more of the performers live on stage.

Many people who were sitting near to us were singing along, even with the songs that I hadn’t heard before. Others were dancing along the walkway and a time or two, I even thought about asking a young lady to dance with me. Of course, I kept my eyes open and my mouth shut. I didn’t get up to bust a move; nor my ass, for that matter.

We all laughed, some danced, some swayed to the rhythms and melodies that they heard, but all in all, I think we all had a good time tonight.

I look forward to the next few days of the Riverbend Festival because Charlie Wilson and Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Big Band will be appearing later in the week. Unfortunately, I already missed out on going two nights that I had considered going to listen to some music while Eric Church and Foreigner were on stage. That’s how life goes sometimes, though.

I’ll live with it since there’s nothing that I can do about it, but I do hope to be available for the next nights of the performers that I would like to be there to see in person. It’s not something that I would usually get out of the house for, but this time around, I don’t feel like sitting in the house while everyone else is out and about having fun without me. I’ll figure out a way to be there.

If you would like more information about the annual Riverbend Festival that restricts movement of downtown Chattanooga for eight nights of music, festivities, and loads of fun, direct your web browser to http://www.RiverbendFestival.com, or visit downtown Chattanooga for yourself to see what it’s all about. You’ll find all of the information that you could possibly be interested in within the pages of the website, along with pricing of pins and single day admissions, games, prizes, and discounts that are available.

Until next time. Take care and share the love.


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