published Monday, December 19th, 2011

Off the Couch: Ruby Falls and Rock City beckon with Christmas attractions

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, in between those last-minute shopping excursions to buy for your special someone you forgot all about, there are still a few things on the entertainment calendar this week.

There is still time to see the lights and decorations at Rock City and Ruby Falls, for example, and some local musicians have a cool thing planned at Track 29 called "Beck the Halls."

On Friday and Saturday, Strung Like a Horse and Glowing Bordis will do their regular sets, then Toneharm will join them, and together they will do Beck's album "Odelay" from start to finish. That's the one with "Where It's At" on it. It will be more than "two turntables and a microphone," to be sure. The crew from Dandasha Bellydance will also be onstage dancing.

What could be more festive than that?

LISA DENTON: Instead of the Dance of the Seven Veils, they can do the Dance of the Jingle Bells. That does sound festive.

BARRY: There is a YouTube video of Here Come the Mummies, who will be at Riverbend this year, doing "Carol of the Bells," but I wouldn't recommend it for the easily offended.

LISA: The seasonal lights will be up through the end of the year at Ruby Falls and Rock City, but if you want to see Ruby Red Christmas at Ruby Falls, you have only one more opportunity. That's the Friday night option that adds falling snow and horse-drawn carriage rides to the regular offerings.

I sense a "Jingle Bells" theme there too. I don't know how much dashing that one-horse open sleigh (OK, carriage) does through the parking lot, but you have to admit having a horse and snow makes the whole scene seem a bit magical.

Besides, there's a lot about Christmas that requires a suspension of disbelief.

BARRY: Why, whatever do you mean?

LISA: Like how the last day at The Hilltop Christmas on Highway 58 is Friday so that the reindeer can gear up for their big flight the next night.

BARRY: I'm sure they've been practicing over the last few weeks. You can't just go from standing around eating and posing for pictures all the time to pulling a fat man around the world. Don't ask how I know this.

LISA: Hmmm, is there something you need to tell me? I could see you in a Santa suit. And, no, I don't think the belt makes your butt look big.

I'd rather moonlight as an elf. The elves, I think, have more fun.

BARRY and LISA: Merry Christmas, everyone.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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