I’m pleased to share that Head of the Hooch 2023 will be returning to Chattanooga on November 4-5, 2023. For those of you not familiar with this event, it’s hailed as the “last of the great fall regattas” – about 20,000 athletes, families, and support staff are in attendance along the riverfront to host one of the largest rowing gatherings in the nation. It’s a great way to showcase Chattanooga, and it’s always a favorite event.
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!
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 requirement changes for the food trucks:
- a 10’ gap must exist between each trailer/truck, per City of Chattanooga adopted fire standards. This will likely reduce the number of available truck slots by 20%. We are working to determine if we can occupy more space this year, but latest word was same footprint as last year.
- no canopies are allowed to be extended from trucks this year
- quiet generators only! no loud generators will be allowed
- there is no shore power (land-line electric) available for arts and crafts vendors; power can be made available to food trucks at a cost (last year it was approximately $100).
Here is a link to the National Fire Protection Association document on Food Truck Safety which the City will be using to ensure compliance:
For food providers, load-in will be on Friday, November 3th; no in/out at all on Saturday (until after event closes), and those of you who intend to remain until Sunday will need to let us know. Arts/Crafts will load in River Market style on Saturday morning.
The event begins Saturday before 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.
Vendor Interest Form
To indicate your interest in participating at the Hooch, please complete the following online form:
Only approved market vendors will be selected, and based on past sales performance, attendance frequency and up-to-date compliance with health permits and insurance COIs, etc. Given that we will have fewer food spots, some that participated in the past will not be able to return this year.
Looking forward to another great Hooch!