Head of the Hooch 2021

I’m very pleased to announce that Head of the Hooch will be returning this fall. For those of you not familiar with this event, it’s completely awesome – about 20,000 athletes, families and support staff are in attendance along the riverfront to host of the largest rowing gatherings in the nation. It makes Chattanooga look amazing, and it’s perhaps one of my favorite events of the year.

This year is particularly special because the Hooch is now managed/operated by a freshly-created non-profit organization – and I’m honored to be one of the founding board members! I’ve loved the Hooch since first discovering it years ago, and it’s the only non-Market event that I truly love – it’s amazing. The air is crisp, the athletes incredible and seeing a thousand rowing hulls on the water is stunning. And the Market plays a key role in providing arts, crafts and concessions for the event, all weekend long!

Due to changes in the riverfront (driven a lot by construction), the general format will be arts/crafts on the aquarium plaza – River Market style – and food trucks on Chestnut street. Arts/Crafts will carry the traditional River Market fee structure (basic setup + 10% of sales), and concessions will carry the traditional Hooch fee structure (basic setup + 20% of sales). This event cost over a quarter-million to host, and half of all fees goes directly to the event. If you need to bump your prices a bit, do so! It’s a captive, hungry and bored audience if they aren’t rowing.

The arts/crafts will operate as usual, but there are several unique requirements for the food trucks:

  • load-in will be on Friday; no in/out at all on Saturday, and those of you who intend to remain until Sunday will need to let us know
  • quiet generators only! no loud generators will be allowed
  • there is no shore power (land-line electric) available.

The event begins Saturday at dawn, and continues until dusk – tens of thousands of hungry people will want coffee, food and other distractions. Our arts/craft market will operate under normal River Market hours, but the food trucks need to brace themselves for a long day/weekend. But it’s worth it – we see some of our largest sales of the year during this event.

Registration for the Hooch will be posted online after Oktoberfest weekend, and is largely first-come/confirmed. Space is limited, so if you wish to participate be sure to watch the forum and check for the posting. Late registration and/or walk-ups are not allowed for this event.


Hi Chris, what are the dates for the Hooch 2021 event?

The dates in the graphic are accurate; Nov 6-7, 2021. https://www.headofthehooch.org

Chris, is it a paint-your-own cookie type of event? Not sure it’s a fit for me, Saturday only.

Hard to say, but mostly college kids and their parents. Not many youth

Chris…you know I’m new to this world. I have already registered for the markets “big band Day” for that weekend…can I cancel that in order to be part of this and will the money I paid be able to be applied to Head of the Hooch 2021??

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No – but the bulk of the Hooch is on Saturday, with a much smaller/local group on Sunday. So most of our vendors do the Saturday Hooch, followed by the Sunday Market. About half of trucks stay until Sunday (reminder: no in/out, no shore power, no water) – Hooch sales are much lower on Sunday, but good enough to support a few trucks