Photos contributed by Amanda Carmichael
Photos contributed by Amanda Carmichael

Addie Whitlow, Chattanooga, Tenn. – This year’s MAINx24 festival hopes to draw the largest crowd yet on Saturday, Dec. 5.

MAINx24 is a 24-hour festival that commemorates Main Street and the Southside district. It has been held every December since 2007. The goal of the festival is to paint a picture of Chattanooga as a 24-hour city by bringing the Southside together and celebrating the area’s residents and business.

Music projects, cook-offs, dances and a parade are just a few of the many activities that highlight the MAINx24 festival.

“This year, we have over fifty registered parade groups, and those groups range from one vehicle to huge groups, like the Do Good for a Dog Friendly Mutt Strut,” said Philip Meyer, the festival’s parade coordinator. “There’s no telling how many people participate all toll.”

Meyer said that the weekend forecast looks promising for this year’s festival. However, weather isn’t the biggest factor in determining how many people come to participate in the MAINx24 festivities.

“Regardless of the weather, we have a pretty dedicated staff and dedicated spectators,” said Meyer, “We’ve had everything from sunny t-shirt weather to jacket and umbrella weather.”

Meyer said that the festival is, by and large, all staffed by volunteers, “We have full-time jobs; we’re just trying to wrangle this in our free time.”

Since 2007, MAINx24 has gone from 34 events on the intersection of Main Street and Rossville Avenue to more than 100 events that span the majority of Main Street’s full length.

The festival kicks off at 8:30a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Main Street Fire Hall. Some of the most popular events include the EPB Southside Parade, the Mutt Strut, the Adult Big Wheel Race and the Chili Cook-Off.

The festivities will continue thoughout the night, and the festival wraps up with a breakfast at Mean Mug on Sunday at 6a.m.. Music and food will be offered by the festival throughout the day and night.

Although a majority of events in the festival are free, Meyer said the money that is made is used primarily to pay for advertising.

With all the different events included in the MAINx24 festival, everyone can find something to do at Chattanooga’s Southside.

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