What makes Lookout Mountain home

Summer on Lookout Mountain means picnics at Point Park, baseball at the Commons, and long hikes under canopies of green. Let us know your favorite trail on Facebook or Twitter.

Warm weather also means outdoor fun, like the 60th annual Fairyland Festival last month, or celebrating CF Awareness on the Cafe's porch. Hold onto your flip flops as we kick off the best time to be Living On Lookout!

National Treasures: Centennial Picnic in Point Park this Thursday

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You may have climbed the cannons at Point Park or admired the views of the distant river snaking through downtown. But you only get one chance a year to party in the Park. And if you want to make it this year, you better hurry.

The eighth annual “National Treasures” event – held this Thursday, August 25 – is getting close to a sellout event. It’s hosted by the Friends of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, a non-profit that serves as an advocate for the country’s oldest military park.

Buy tickets now

The casual evening features live music, activities and al fresco dining on the park lawn – a unique privilege at a park that normally doesn’t even allow picnics. What makes this year even more special is it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Each year, National Treasures honors our local National Park and commemorates the important role it plays in our community,” says National Treasures Chair Becky Browder. “This year is especially significant, as we also celebrate the importance of the National Park Service that manages 407 sites across the country, maintaining America’s natural and historic treasures.

From 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, you can enjoy breathtaking views as you stroll along the park’s paths, listen to the music of the Power Players underneath the iconic New York Peace Monument, and toast the centennial of the National Park Service.

There will be living history re-enactments of Civil War activity and a special 100th Anniversary presentation on the creation and history of the Park Service. Umbrella Rock (pictured above) will also be exclusively open for this event, allowing you to ‘gram Chattanooga’s first tourist destination.

National Treasures 2016: Centennial Picnic in Point Park

August 25, 5:30 to 8:30 pm
$75 for individual, $130 per couple
Tickets are available online or by calling Tricia Mims, Executive Director, at (423) 648-5623.

Fairyland Club Welcomes New Executive Chef

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Chef Cristian Adasme’s first day on the job as executive chef at the Fairyland Club was what you might call a bad day. Not only was he handling the second largest banquet of the year, a surprise health inspection scored his new kitchen one point above failing.

It was challenging, but everything happens for a reason,” he says half smiling. “At least it showed me where I needed to focus my efforts first.

The mistakes were small but counted as double since they were repeat offenses. But if any person was prepared to handle reorganizing and retraining a kitchen staff, it was Chef Adasme. You could even say he wrote the book on it.

As a teacher at Atlanta’s Le Cordon Bleu International cooking school for almost a decade, Adasme was in charge of the white tablecloth, student-run restaurant. The rigorous task was the equivalent of opening a new restaurant every three weeks. He developed books for each station so that students knew the exact process of each dish, from pantry to plating.

The main problem with every restaurant is consistency; you have to have a playbook that says ‘this is what we’re doing,’” he says. “What I’ve done so far is implement a system, laying the foundation for deep-rooted change.

That’s not to say he doesn’t also have big plans for the menu. He’s already instituted weekly specials highlighting a different cuisine each week, such as Italian or Creole. His fall menu debuts this month, which will feature the freshest of fall’s product.

Ultimately he envisions everything in the Fairyland Club kitchen being made from scratch, from dressings to French fries to pasta. He would also like to develop a charcuterie plate from meat that is butchered and processed in-house, such as cured salami or smoked sausage. He knows this will take a culture shift and time, but is pleased with the reception so far – from the staff to management to members.

I’d love to put the Fairyland Club on the culinary map; just look at this view,” he says motioning to the back deck. “You can’t get that anywhere downtown.

While he acknowledges it’s an ambitious goal, he has the culinary chops to make it happen. His resume includes one of Atlanta’s oldest and finest restaurants, Nikolais’ Roof; Buckhead’s French bistro, Anis; and his time as Lead Instructor at Le Cordon Bleu. There he worked with some of the country’s top chefs, helped train at the school’s Ottawa, Canada campus, participated in a TV cooking show and was featured in Atlanta and national magazines.

Adasme never wants his food to seem pretentious. He prefers to elevate simple ingredients through technique, rather than “re-sell” an expensive product. This approach probably stems from his childhood in Santiago, Chile where fresh, homegrown food was the only option. Even so, he entered the food world in a rather unusual way.

“My greatest inspiration was my mom, who was a terrible cook,” he laughs. “So I started cooking for the family every Sunday.”

After studying law for three years in Chile, he gave everything up to follow a girl to the States. At 21, he arrived at the Atlanta airport with two bags and a guitar, speaking little to no English. He got the only job that didn’t require him to be fluent – a busboy in a restaurant – and the culinary light switch flipped on.

While he loved his career in Atlanta, years later a different female would inspire his move to Chattanooga – his daughter Gabriela. She moved to the area a few years ago with her mom, Adasme’s first wife. As fate would have it, Chattanooga is also where Adasme met his fiancé, Sara. Together they have two boys: Sebastian, 2 and Carlos, born just two weeks before he came aboard as the Club’s executive chef.

Music on the Mountain Returns this Weekend

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The third annual Music on the Mountain returns this Saturday, August 20 at the Lookout Mountain Golf Club. Proceeds from this “Southern Barbeque Supper” benefit the Fairyland Education Fund, which helps add staff and programs that enhance the Fairyland School experience. And there are some auction items this year that could seriously enhance your life too.

Take for example the $4,300 golf cart they’re raffling at $100 per chance (only 125 tickets will be sold and you don’t have to be present to win). Or consider the security-level clearance Pentagon tour in D.C., which will be featured in the live auction.

Have you always dreamed of challenging Jimmy Fallon in one of his epic Lip Sync battles? Then you’ll want to sign up for the Lip Sync Battle Dinner Party, hosted by Michelle and Justin Workman and Caroline and Nelson Williams. Other auction highlights include mixed media artwork by resident Jon Davenport; a 7-night stay in Santa Rosa, FL; VIP "Zone" level tickets to watch UTC play AL at Bryant Denny Stadium; and custom Louisa Guild 14K and semi-precious stone earrings.

Co-chairs this year include Sarah Lehn and Caroline Williams, who have been instrumental in getting this event off the ground.

We’re so honored how the community has come out to support it each year,” says Williams. “Similar to events by the LMS PTA and Love Lookout, we see Music on the Mountain as yet another opportunity to unify the mountain and help make our community stronger.

The committee always makes a special effort to highlight local talent, such as Paul Daniel who will perform this year with his band, Men of Soul. Henry Glascock will emcee the live auction, and the menu features Chef Margaret Johnson’s famous pulled pork and ribs.

I’ve heard people joke they’d walk up the mountain for Margaret’s barbeque!” laughs Williams.

Proceeds from Music on the Mountain represent a large portion of Fairyland’s $150,000 PTO budget, which has helped fund a new full-time computer teacher, a music teacher, a new Spanish program that begins in Pre-K and a RTI (response to intervention) teacher.

Music on the Mountain
Saturday, August 20 at 6:30 pm
Lookout Mountain Golf Club
Southern Barbeque Supper, Live music, Live/Silent Auction

Buy tickets ($60) online or at the door

“Be the Bend” at Chattanooga’s First Yoga Festival

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Southern Bend Yoga Festival
August 27, noon to 11 pm
Coolidge Park
Tickets $45 until August 13 ($60 at the gate); $12 for kids with 5 and under free

Whether you’ve studied Ashtanga in India or you just like wearing yoga pants to the grocery store, Southern Bend Yoga Festival has something for you.

The idea is to unite Chattanooga in mindful movement,” says Lookout Mountain resident and festival ‘marketing guru’, Aloyse Brown. “Bring a friend and a sense of play. You’re not supposed to look perfect – if you fall over, laugh about it.

Virtually every style will be represented – Vinyasa, Nidra, Ashtanga, Purna – all taught by nationally acclaimed yogis flying in just for the event. You can do “down dog” while floating on a Stand-Up Paddleboard, or balance on a friend with acroyoga (a mixture of acrobatics and yoga).

Yoga is a practice you can have your entire life, unlike rock climbing or running marathons,” says festival ‘funding guru’ and Lookout Mountain native Katie Stout. “We want to expose people to the different aspects of yoga, whether you’ve never tried it or have been practicing for years.

There will be yoga with live DJs, kid’s yoga, tai chi, meditation sessions, slacklining and instructor-led discussions called “speakeasys.” Early bird tickets are just $45 (until August 13) and give you access to three of the festival’s 20-plus sessions. In the downtime, catch live music at the “Java Jive” coffee lounge or peruse the many food and yogi-centric vendors.

Southern Bend is more than just a festival; it’s the inaugural event for a new non-profit founded by yoga instructors Heather Dendy and Kari Pollard. After attending a similar festival called Wanderlust, the two friends agreed it would be the perfect concept for Chattanooga with just one key difference – philanthropy.

The event will benefit the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, which helps US transplant families avoid financial ruin. Transplant procedures range from $100,000 to more than $800,000 with an incredibly long waiting list to endure.

Dendy knows the stress firsthand, as her son has been on the waiting list for a liver transplant for many years. While her family won’t benefit directly from the funds raised, the money will stay local, assures Brown.

Organizers hope to not only introduce more people to the health benefits of yoga, but also unite the yoga community for positive change in our community, with the mantra “Be the Bend.”

The idea is to take everything we find on the mat – clarity, sense of peace, balance – and take it into the community,” explains Brown. "There’s something really beautiful about 200-400 people practicing together, breathing in unison.

But don’t think the whole event will be one big “om.” Come nightfall, DJ Hi –FI will take center stage with a dance party including neon body paint. (We told you not to try and put this festival into a box pose.)

Can’t wait until festival time? Get your poses on now with the Studio Raffle Card. Participating studios are offering one FREE class to first-time visitors, plus a sticker equaling one ticket in the festival’s raffle for more than $4,000 worth of prizes. Drawings will be held throughout the day and prizes available for pick-up at the event.

Buy your tickets now

Riverwalk Comes to Lookout Mountain

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On August 12, the Riverwalk’s St. Elmo expansion officially opens. Organizers promise more than a ribbon cutting to commemorate this important milestone – it’ll be a two-day extravaganza.

(See schedule below)

The Blue Goose Landing addition provides an uninterrupted foot/bike path from Ross’ Landing to the foot of Lookout Mountain, where it connects with existing mountain trails. It begins at the Blue Goose Hollow Trailhead adjacent to the new Cameron Harbor Development downtown, and ends at Middle Street near Crust Pizza.

The extension highlights the rich industrial and cultural history of our area – there’s even a new app that will debut at the grand opening. The trail winds behind Alstom, PSC Metals and the abandoned US Pipe site. Highlights include an interpretive public art exhibit and amphitheater lawn, as well as passing underneath the largest crane on the Tennessee River at PSC Metals, which loads the largest hydroelectric turbines in the world onto barges for shipment.

The 3.5-mile addition cost more than $11 million and took nearly two years to build, with challenges such as an alignment shift, bank failures and long awaited approvals from railroads. The waiting will be worth it once the new section opens, which will connect our city like never before.

Currently most use the Riverwalk for recreation, but officials hope this new section will encourage a bike commuter route from St. Elmo to downtown. A connection from the Riverwalk to the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway has already opened, and construction of a connection to the Alton Park neighborhood was announced earlier this summer.

Friday, Aug. 12:

10 a.m.
Blues music entertainment, a tribute to the area where the famous blues singer, Bessie Smith, was born and raised

10:30 a.m.
Program begins, emceed by Claude Ramsey

11 a.m.
Ribbon Cutting

11:30 a.m.
Try out the new Riverwalk app narrating the unique history of the Riverwalk

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Special event near the Riverwalk on the Springhill Suites patio and Waterside Lounge, including live music, happy hour drinks, a food truck, and special showings of the Chattanooga History Center’s 12-minute video narrated by Samuel Jackson

Saturday, Aug. 13:

BCBST sponsors a run/walk along the new Riverwalk addition early in the morning

9 a.m. – Noon
Street performers and musicians

Afternoon
Nearby restaurants and merchants offer specials throughout the afternoon

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Entertainment, street performers, refreshments/food vendors, and a scavenger hunt.

Find a map of the Riverpark extension here

Community Movie Night Returns

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Grab your lawn chairs…Community Movie Night is back! On August 12, the Town Commons will once again be transformed to an open-air movie theater thanks to Love Lookout, a non-profit dedicated to bettering Lookout Mountain and fostering its already strong community.

The title is yet to be disclosed but promises to be a family-friendly flick. The event will begin at 6 pm with the movie beginning at dusk (around 9 pm). You’re encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and a picnic supper.

Just as last year, free popcorn and water will be available. You might also want to bring cash for after dinner treats. Ice cream and sno-cones may be available for sale, but details are yet to be confirmed.

Last year almost 500 people attended, ranging in age from seven months to seven decades. There were toddlers running in the grass, babies laying on blankets and teenagers hanging in the back.

“It was a really sweet bonding time for our entire community,” says Love Lookout point person, Ann Henley Perry.

“The movie started later than we expected – our rental company is on Central Time and misquoted us the start time. But what we noticed was people of all ages interacting and having fun. Even people with tiny babies didn’t seem flustered. It was really amazing to watch.”

This year, organizers are suggesting people bring outdoor games such as corn hole, Kan Jam or spike ball to share for pre-movie entertainment. Another popular item last year were glow necklaces, says Perry.

We want this to be more than just the movie,” she says. “Even if your family can’t stay the entire time because of bed times, they can still enjoy a really fun, laid-back evening with neighbors.

Community Movie Night
August 12
Town Commons
6 pm until 10 pm

Wildfire On Lookout Mountain

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West Brow Fire Fighters Keep an Eye on the Blaze

Kate Fuller was at home Monday afternoon when she smelled something burning. She looked out her back window to see a wall of smoke rising from the woods below her home, which her family had moved into just a few months ago.

I called 911 around 4:00 p.m. and about an hour later the Georgia Forestry Service was crashing through trees in bulldozers trying to reach it,” she recalls.

They couldn’t, and the blaze continued through the night – Kate and her husband, Clay took turns throughout the night checking its progress. The fire continued to spread south, growing from 10 to 20 acres as of this afternoon, says Supervisory U.S. Park Ranger, John McCutcheon.

The NPS got involved yesterday when the fire reached National Park lands. Today they have brought in more firefighters, almost 25 in total. Two helicopters have been running since Tuesday, scooping water from a pond below Covenant and dumping on the blaze.

The fire is getting dangerously close to the power lines that run up the mountain, right next to the Maggie Bluff subdivision. The only silver lining is the mowed area beneath the power lines can act as a natural fire break. The trails below Frontier Bluff, where the fire originated, are also keeping the blaze from spreading up the mountain toward homes, says McCutcheon.

We’ve been through this before in the ‘70s,” says homeowner Lynn Hartman. “We were out there with shovels and hoses, pumping water out of a neighbor’s pool. I get very nervous when I see smoke.

Standing on the back porch of her Maggie Bluff home you can hear the fire crackle and catch glimpses of flames, located about a quarter mile south. She says a man from the Georgia Forestry Service volunteered to camp out last night to keep an eye on things.

Since 11 a.m., the West Brow Fire Department has been at her house setting up hoses and watching the blaze. The NPS service won’t defend private property, so residents depend upon their local departments.

Lynn’s husband Don, along with Buddy Champion recently helped raise over $400,000 for the West Brow Fire Department, which went toward a new truck as well as a new station to accommodate it. They needed a truck with ladders tall enough to reach the top of Covenant College. This week they couldn’t be more grateful for their volunteer department.

They say they still need new equipment,” she says. “When this is over I’ll go door to door if I need to. They are such a valuable asset, particularly in this rural area.

Extreme drought conditions all summer have put North Georgia at risk for wildfires. NPS says at this point they believe it was started by an unattended fire. McCutcheon estimates it will be several more days before they can completely extinguish it.

LMC's Shrimp Boil - Good Time, Great Cause

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Lookout Mountain Conservancy’s fourth annual “Hot Fun in the Summer Time” party is this Thursday, July 14 from 6 to 10 pm. Take it from us: you don’t want to miss this late summer shrimp boil.

Held on the lawn of The Crash Pad, the party will be catered by celebrated Southside restaurant, The Feed Co. Table & Tavern. Lookout Mountain bluegrass band, The Rising Fawn Social Club will open the evening followed by rock/country cover band, Priscilla & Little Rickee. Beer and wine are provided by Chattanooga Brewing Company and Riverside Beverage, respectively.

While all of these elements promise a fun evening, the true highlight is the opportunity to meet LMC’s Howard School Interns. Each summer they help work the party as part of their paid internship program. These bright and driven teenagers are a delight to speak with – their poise and optimism a rarity in a time where texting and technology have nearly demolished adolescent social skills.

It wasn’t always this way. Four years ago when the first Howard School bus pulled onto LMC’s property at the base of Lookout Mountain, the students who stepped out barely spoke to their fellow classmates – let alone strangers at a party. Growing up in one of the city’s roughest neighborhoods had taught them to keep to themselves.

Over time, with guidance from LMC’s CEO Robyn Carlton, the land helped heal them. Most had never even crossed Broad Street, let alone spent time in the woods. Surrounded by the safe haven of nature, working 40-hour weeks clearing kudzu or building trails, the kids learned to thrive instead of survive.

Today these kids have become leaders in their school, their community and beyond. The groundbreaking partnership between The Howard School and Lookout Mountain Conservancy has become a template for land conservancy agencies across the country. In fact, two interns will accompany Carlton to present at The National Land Conservation Conference this October.

These kids never thought they would amount to anything – they had no hope,” says Carlton. “Now they are setting the standard for all land trusts across the country on community engagement. It’s really become something so much bigger than I could’ve imagined.

One graduate of the program is pursuing his aeronautics degree at TSU and will intern this summer with NASA. Another student is pursuing her political science degree at Davidson College, while another will graduate with three degrees from Hendrix College – all related to environmental science.

Read more of their amazing stories here

Since the programs inception, the interns have concentrated their work on LMC’s 40-acre property that borders Old Wauhatchie Pike and John Wilson Park. They’ve cleared ravines, cut back trails and done landscaping and hardscaping projects to prepare the property for public access once the Riverwalk reaches St. Elmo Avenue – which is slated for mid-August.

This summer they have focused on building a 1.5-mile hiking/biking trail through the property, connecting LMC’s Guild Trail with downtown’s Riverwalk. When that happens, the 40-acre property will become a dynamic outdoor space and gateway to Lookout Mountain trails from downtown.

There will be a natural bouldering park, which the 18 high schoolers have helped clear and landscape. They have created a pollinator garden at John Wilson Park, as well as other properties around the city. They even uncovered an old homestead and smokehouse built into the side of the mountain, which will be available to the public once the trail officially opens.

The LMC’s mission has always been to protect Lookout Mountain’s scenic, historic and ecological resources. Their Intern and Leadership Program at the Howard School has demonstrated that the land can also help solve other challenges in the community.

It underscores the importance of why we do what we do,” says Carlton. “It’s been incredible to watch the kids taping into the power of the land.

Proceeds from “Hot Fun in the Summer Time” support LMC’s conservation efforts as well as their Howard internship program. Walk-ups are welcome, but purchasing tickets online is encouraged to help event organizers prepare for the crowd. Tickets are $45 and include food, beverage and one heck of a good time.

Swing Ding Golf Tournament Stronger Than Ever

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Few things get better with age. Swing Ding – much like the Bratcher red wine awarded to its champion – is one of those things.

Earlier this month the Lookout Mountain Golf Club hosted its annual member/guest tournament, simply known as Swing Ding. And known it is. After more than 50 years it’s earned the reputation of one of the South’s premier events.

Two years ago I invited my good friend from California, Charles Muller, who belongs to a really nice course outside of San Francisco,” says member Nelson Williams. “On the way to the airport on Monday, he confirmed it was the best member-guest he had ever played.

What makes Swing Ding unique is that everyone involved enjoys the tournament. Many of the players’ wives count it as their favorite weekend all year. Kids can be found playing in sand traps or perched atop golf carts for better views in the gallery. Even the event staff is smiling, despite working 17-hour days in some cases.

The members make it great,” says Golf Pro Adam Campbell. “Their pride and love they have for it is contagious. It’s hard to compare.

Before coming to Lookout Mountain Golf Club in 2009, Campbell worked at some of Atlanta’s top golf courses, including Capital City Club. Their member/guest tournament is the same size as Lookout Mountain’s with 80 teams of two, or 160 players. Their membership, however, is over 2,000. LMGC is less than 250.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of Swing Ding to LMGC. Families plan their entire year around it, with 3 and sometimes 4 generations represented. Last year an idea was floated for a dedicated Swing Ding website. It was up two days later.

While always popular, the tournament has become even more celebrated in recent years. When Campbell first started at LMGC, he remembers calling members to fill spots. This year the tournament was full with a wait list within a few hours – despite a snowy registration day.

It just gets better and better every year,” says Tom Jones, a member since the early ‘80s and former Swing Ding Chair. “[Swing Ding Chair] David Bennett deserves a tremendous amount of credit for constantly coming up with improvements while staying true to its traditions.

Started in 1959 by Jack Lupton and John Stout, Sr., the tournament’s original vision was “a big weekend party with a little bit of golf thrown in.” There are celebrations every night after play, with bands playing throughout the weekend under the big red-and-white striped tent.

The weekend kicks off Wednesday with a Kids’ Par 3 for ages 6 to 13, followed by a special dinner and awards ceremony. The dads even dress in white jumpsuits and caddy for their kids.
Thursday there are dueling men’s and women’s cocktail parties upstairs and downstairs at the clubhouse. Friday night is dinner and dancing under the tent, and Saturday is Family Night complete with hayrides, bluegrass and pint-sized golf contests.

On Sunday, the sounds of the Dixieland Jazz Band float throughout the course, mingling with the smells of grilled perfection coming from Tim Miller at the West House.

The festive air doesn’t dilute the seriousness of the golf. Make no mistake: winning Swing Ding is a big deal. In addition to year-long bragging rights, the champions earn the coveted Red Jacket (a nod to Augusta’s green version). They also have their own caricature drawn, which hangs in perpetuity in the men’s grill downstairs.
Every flight winner is awarded Bratcher Winery’s specially made “Red Jacket” wine and glasses etched with the Swing Ding logo.

The special touches during play go far beyond your typical member/guest. Every team is announced on the first tee, and greeters hand out Swing Ding logoed balls on the driving range (all staffed by volunteers). Junior golfers also give of their time. They report at 7:30 a.m. each morning to be ball spotters, donning hard hats and red shirts.

The excitement for Sunday’s final round is felt throughout the community, with many non-golfers joining to watch the leaders.

It’s unbelievable the support,” says 7-time champion Pat Corey. “On Sunday you might have a couple hundred people following the championship flight.

An additional 81 golf carts are brought in to accommodate the spectators. Golf cart galleries will follow players hole to hole, parking around the greens wherever they can find a spot. When asked if this damages the greens – particularly during this year’s thunderstorms – members shrug and say, “It’s Swing Ding.”

It’s Swing Ding, so you kind of let up on all that,” says David Bennett. “You have kids running across the greens, playing in traps in smocked outfits. It’s just what we do.

Professional photographer Sarah Foley was hired to capture the event. To view and/or order pictures, visit . www.swing-ding.com

District Baseball Tournament Comes to Lookout this Weekend

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The 7- and 8-year-old Dixie Youth Baseball District Tournament comes to Lookout Mountain's Senter Field this weekend at the Town Commons. Games will be held Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Monday evening. The tournament is a yearly tradition, with Lookout Mountain hosting a different age group each year.

Lookout Mountain’s 7- and 8-year-olds will face off against Red Bank this Friday at 7:30 p.m. They’ll go on to play Saturday at either 11 or 12:30 p.m., depending on if they win. The 9- and 10-year-old District Tournament will also take place this weekend in Red Bank, while the 11- and 12-year-olds move to the state tournament in Loretta, Tenn.

Head over to the Commons this weekend for your dose of summer youth baseball. Games begin Friday at 6:00 p.m

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