News 12 Then: Building the hype for the first Riverbend in 1982
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) This year marks the 35th edition of the Riverbend Festival.
So we are digging back into the WDEF Archives to remember the first one.
In 1982, people had long fled the downtown area to live and play in the suburbs.
So Riverbend was designed to bring them back.
But would the people come down to the Riverfront?
Remember, in the early 80s, there was no Aquarium, Walnut Bridge walkway, Coolidge Park or Riverwalk.
There was only a concrete ramp at Ross’s Landing leading into the River.
So Riverbend leaders spent the entire summer building up for the new Festival that would debut in August.
The festivities included a balloon launch at the site, a christening of the barge, and serious of summer concerts at Engel Stadium leading up to raise money for Riverbend (Beach Boys, The Commodores, Rick Springfield)