Free concert series starts this weekend, Friends of the Festival discusses safety measures

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – For 13 years the free concert series Riverfront nights has been held at Ross’s Landing.

But, this year it will be held at the Riverpark in a concert series called Chattanooga Unite: Healing and Uniting on the River.

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“The purpose is to unite our community so that folks can get together to celebrate the resurgence of summer, our entire community, of course our local economy after the height of the pandemic,” Amy Morrow with Friends of the Festival said.

In their Zoom agenda meeting Wednesday, Hamilton County Commissioners gave their approval to allow the series on the county-owned property while considering the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you look at what the capacity is there versus the number of people that they’re going to have in at, attend this event. There’s plenty of room for social distancing and even if they’re social distancing we’d like to see the mask,” Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said.

The series’ organizers will use a simple method to keep people six feet away from each other by drawing circles on the lawn and in front of the stage for folks to stand in.

“Take the guessing game out of it. There’s no way to guess how far the distances are. There are nice big circles that show where you know if you’re in one circle you’re definitely at least six feet away from other folks around,” Morrow said.

Morrow said they’re following guidance including state and local guidance to keep everyone safe.

Organizers said there will be private security and Hamilton County Rangers on site.

Staff and volunteers will be screened and wearing masks and expect to see hand sanitizing stations.

“We have thousands of donated masks from the Hamilton County Health Department that we will be providing at no charge to all the attendees,” Morrow said.

Starting Friday, people in Hamilton County will have to wear masks in certain circumstances.

The rules address when they must be worn outdoors.

“We will ask that they comply with those regulations and if not yeah they should go somewhere else to enjoy their evening because we are there and want to follow and will follow all of the regulations,”Morrow said.

Morrow said the concert series is an option they wanted to be able to offer to the public.

“We wanted to offer to the community what we have for 13 years and that’s just a chance to come together and enjoy some music,” she said.

The concert series kicks off this Saturday with a special event to honor the heroes that work in the medical field.

There will also be a Be the Change kids talent show before every concert.

Chattanooga Unite events start at 4 p.m. and will be on July 11th, 18th, 25th and August 8th, 15th, 22nd.