published Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Bluegrass festival and tiny dog races highlight fun events this week


BARRY COURTER: Lisa, given the events of last week, it seems odd to even be thinking about entertainment, but some folks are probably ready for a little diversion. We were very lucky, compared to others, losing only power at our house. That said, there are plenty of events worth noting in the next few days.

One is the Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival run by Cindy Pinion in honor of her late father. It’s Thursday through Saturday at Raccoon Mountain Campground. You see the Forever Bluegrass bumper stickers that bear her father’s image all over the place.

LISA DENTON: With 17 bands, including at least four top-tier names, the Boxcar festival is one of the biggest in the region. It gets a lot of its steam this year with The Grascals. They released a really sweet single earlier this year called “I Am Strong,” inspired by the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — with Dolly Parton singing backup! Their latest CD is a tribute to the music of “The Andy Griffith Show” called “Dance Til Your Stockings Are Hot and Ravelin’.” They’re hitting all my soft spots.

BARRY: Now you know you can’t bring up an Andy Griffith song without mentioning “Don’t Hit Your Grandma With a Great Big Stick.” That’s the one that always makes Charlene Darling cry.

And, speaking of your BFF Dolly, isn’t it about time for you to go visit her up at Dollywood?

LISA: As a matter of fact, I am planning to make the pilgrimage to the Dolly parade. Luckily, the timing won’t interfere with the Running of the Chihuahuas on Thursday. That’s the Cinco de Mayo celebration WDOD-FM Hits 96 is presenting with 96 little doggies at First Tennessee Pavilion at 5 p.m. I dog-sat a Chihuahua named Martin a couple of weekends ago. I may have to borrow him again for the races.

BARRY: Add Chihuahua rentals to our list of great business ideas. Do people get to run along with the dogs like they do the bulls in Spain? I could see that being a good starter, or training, run for me.

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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