IF YOU GO
Little Owl Music and Arts Festival
■ When: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, March 22.
■ Where: Audubon Acres, 900 N. Sanctuary Road.
■ Admission: $7 per person, $15 per carload (free to Chattanooga Audubon Society members).
■ Website: www.chattanoogaaudubon.org.
Friends Under the Stars Festival
■ When: 2-5 p.m. Sunday, March 23.
■ Where: Camp Jordan, 323 Camp Jordan Parkway, East Ridge
■ Admission: $5 ages 7 and up.
■ Website: facebook.com/events/1424210651157858.
If the forecast of mild temperatures makes you want to get out of the house, take advantage of two, family-friendly, outdoor festivals coming up this weekend.
■ Little Owl Music and Arts Festival will be held Saturday, March 22, in the natural beauty of Audubon Acres wildlife sanctuary in East Brainerd.
Last year's festival was affected by rain, says event chairman Ray Zimmerman, so members of the sponsoring Chattanooga Audubon Society are hoping bad weather holds off for this fundraiser, which benefits the society's preservation and education programs.
Local musicians will play on a stage set up in the meadow. Russell Gulley is the first act up at 11 a.m. Following announcements at noon, music continues with Mountain Creek House Fire, Tin Cup Rattlers, Roy Harper, Snopes Brothers, Scenic City Ramblers and Just Us Gals. A new act takes the stage about every 45 minutes.
Local poets and storytellers will share a stage beginning at 12:15 p.m. Storyteller Finn Bille will emcee this spoken-word program on the porch of Walker Hall. Sarah Lord kicks off performances with her American Indian stories for children, followed by Southern frontier stories and music by Steve Daugherty.
At 1:15 p.m., the audience can get in on the act when Ben Schnell hosts "Tell Your Own Story" with the theme "I didn't see that coming."
Stories by the professionals continue at 2:15 p.m. when Vincent Phipps presents "My Father's Tivoli Ticket," a humorous personal story of racial segregation, and "Yes, I Am Staring at You," a poem about love at first sight. He will be followed by poet Mia Hansford at 2:45 before Kemmer Anderson wraps up the program.
On the grounds around the music stage will be arts and crafts vendors, children's activities and a farm animal petting zoo. Wings To Soar will present a birds of prey program. Musicians from Folk School of Chattanooga will hold jam sessions and will bring along a variety of instruments for children to test their skills.
Best of all, visitors get to enjoy the scenic property of Chattanooga's oldest wildlife sanctuary.
■ Friends Under the Stars Festival is a new event taking place Sunday afternoon, March 23, at Camp Jordan in East Ridge.
Local musician Josh Gilbert is the headliner, with other entertainment by The Station House Singers, Delta Soul and Gilbert.
The festival also will offer children's activities, a silent auction and car and bike shows, according to the festival's Facebook page. Entry fees for the vehicle shows are $15 per bike, $20 per car.
Two dozen vendors will be selling a variety of merchandise ranging from gift items (Cathleen Kuch's handmade doll clothes that fit American Girl dolls) to home products (Scentsy, Tupperware) to food and beverages (Your Cup Runneth Over Coffee and Tea.)
Funds raised at the festival benefit the work of Scenic City Acts of Random Kindness, a local group dedicated to helping the homeless, the elderly and fixed-income families.
Contact Susan Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6284.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...