published Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Shamrock City: St. Patrick welcomed early at Rock City

  • photo
    A biodegradable, environmentally friendly dye is used to color Rock City’s 90-foot High Falls for the Shamrock City Irish festival.
    Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Leprechauns invade Rock City’s famous Fudge Kitchen to add their favorite tint to the house specialty.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

■ What: Shamrock City Irish festival.

■ When: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. March 8-9, 15-16 (park open 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.).

■ Where: Rock City, 1400 Patten Road.

■ Admission: $22.95 adults, $12.95 children 3-12.

■ Phone: 706-820-2531.

■ Website: www.seerockcity.com.

EXTRA SHAMROCKS

As part of Shamrock City, Rock City is partnering with the Chattanooga district of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Visitors can purchase green shamrocks for $1 and gold shamrocks for $5 through Thursday, March 1-27, to help supply needed funds to local families with muscular dystrophy.

Hate to wait until March 17 to get your Irish on? You're in luck.

Rock City is planning an Irish festival so pervasive the next two weekends that even the waterfall will turn green.

Called Shamrock City, this seventh annual celebration offers themed food, drinks, bands, jig lessons and activities for kids from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, March 8-9 and 15-16.

Musicians playing Celtic music will include Olta, Celtic Plain, The Molly Maguires, Pay the Reckoning, Jennifer Daniels, John Lathim and Michelle Young on designated days. The Chattanooga Pipe Band will be roaming through the gardens daily.

Performances of traditional Celtic dances also will be offered. If you feel so inspired, you can learn how to dance the Irish jig.

Shamrock City also highlights a menu of Irish and Irish-themed foods, such as mulligan stew, corned beef and cabbage, Reuben sandwiches and green kettle corn, along with specialty beer brewed at Big River Grille and Green Shamrock Wine from Georgia Winery. Rock City's famous fudge, made while you watch, will be tinted green.

Kids activities include a treasure map adventure, panning for gold, a climbing wall to kiss the blarney stone, face painting and lucky lollipops. (Some activities have additional charges, ranging from $3 to $9.)

Shamrock City has been selected a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society the past four years.

SCHEDULE

Saturday, March 8

10:30 a.m. Irish/Celtic dance performances

11 a.m. Olta

Noon. Jig lessons with Jeff Sandy

12:30 p.m. Olta

1:30 p.m. Jig lessons

2 p.m. Pay the Reckoning

3 p.m. Irish/Celtic dance performances

3:30 p.m. Jig lessons

4 p.m. Pay the Reckoning

5 p.m. Irish/Celtic dance performances

Sunday, March 9

10:30 a.m. Irish/Celtic dance performances

11 a.m. John Lathim & Michelle Young

Noon. Jig lessons

12:30 p.m. John Lathim & Michelle Young

1:30 p.m. Jig lessons

2 p.m. Jennifer Daniels

3 p.m. Irish/Celtic dance performances

3:30 p.m. Jig lessons

4 p.m. Jennifer Daniels

5 p.m. Irish/Celtic dance performances

Saturday and Sunday, March 15-16

10:30 a.m. Irish/Celtic dance performances

11 a.m. Celtic Plain

Noon. Jig lessons

12:30 p.m. Celtic Plain

1:30 p.m. Jig lessons

2 p.m. Molly Maguires

3 p.m. Irish/Celtic dance performances

3:30 p.m. Jig lessons

4 p.m. Molly Maguires

5 p.m. Irish/Celtic dance performances

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