Social life on the mountain includes youth soccer leagues, Sunday services, holiday suppers and summer movie nights at Carter Field, tennis teams and the long, slow spin of a perfect putt across a gorgeous green.

We are a community built for fun, for families, and for the moments that give life meaning.

Foster to Lead Yoga and Wellness Retreat

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Beauty and grace are synonymous with Allison Foster. For nine years, Allison has lived here on Lookout Mountain with her family, which includes son Holden and daughter, Riley. Holden will be a junior at McCallie, while Riley will be a freshman at GPS.

"We have lived on Lookout Mountain for nine years and found it to be an amazing community in which to raise children and develop incredible friendships. In addition to the community of people, we love the fantastic opportunities to be able to play in the outdoors! From hiking and biking to paddle-boarding and fishing, we have fallen in love with the whole region," Allison says.

That love has spread to others, for everyone who knows Allison absolutely loves her. Due to her lovely and peaceful personality, she has many followers in her yoga classes. When asked how her love for yoga began, Allison explained, "Our family lived in New Orleans between 2001 and 2005. During that time, both of my children were born, and I began practicing a little yoga with pre-natal yoga videos. A small studio opened around the corner, and I took a few classes before Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005. After that, we moved to Memphis, and life felt upside down for a while. Some good friends recommended yoga as a stress reliever. It worked and has been an incredibly important part of my life ever since."

After experiencing all of the benefits of yoga, Allison desired to become an instructor. In 2008, Allison completed her 200-hour RYT (registered yoga teacher) instruction with Yoga Alliance. Since that time, she has constantly continued her education through programs and workshops. "To date, I have accrued over 300 additional hours of training through Asheville Yoga Center, OM Schooled (Yoga for Teens) and certified Broga training (yoga for men)."

When Allison is not teaching yoga, she loves to hike with her dogs, write poetry and stories for children and teens, cook and spend time with Holden and Riley. "My kids would say that my favorite hobby is teaching them 'life lessons.' I told them that once they realize everything is a life lesson, then my job will be done!" Allison said.

Allison hosts wonderful women’s wellness retreats each year. These weekends are intended for renewal, self-discovery and rest. Their theme is based on a quote from poet David Whyte, who said, "What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?" Taking the time to realize this transformation can be restorative, if not life changing.

"We will honor the journey of our lives with nourishing yoga, delicious food, beautiful accommodations and the Great Smoky Mountains. We will also provide options for massage, hiking, biking, floating down the Little River, touring the Tuckaleechee Caverns or just relaxing in a hammock with a good book. The best part is that EVERYTHING is completely optional," Allison says of the retreat she will lead this month at Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend, Tenn.

Allison has been leading retreats and workshops for the past eight years. This year’s retreat will be her second at Dancing Bear Lodge. In May, the retreat she led there sold out quickly, so she is excited to offer another one from September 21-23. To register for the retreat, go to the and click on Women’s Wellness Weekend with Allison Foster. For more information, call Dancing Bear Lodge at (865) 448-6000.

Participate in 4th of July Parade

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The City of Lookout Mountain, Ga., and Town of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., are planning the second Annual Fourth of July Parade, and you’re invited to participate! The parade will be a celebration of our unique and close-knit community and capture the charm of Lookout Mountain. The parade is being organized by the Community Activities Committee of Lookout Mountain GA., the (Organizing) Lookout Mountain Chapter of the DAR and Love Lookout.

The parade will consist of truck-towed floats, the town fire truck, a mayoral convertible and more. DAR members and veterans are encouraged to join the parade, as are Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, kids, parents, grandparents ... everyone! Decorate your cars, trucks, bikes and golf carts; play music on a float; Get creative and show your patriotism during this fun community event!

The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. on July 4 at Fairyland Elementary School and end at the Commons, where there will be food trucks, live music and prizes awarded. If you would like to participate as a driver, musician, biker or in any way, fill out the form at:
Remember, the success of this event depends on community participation! If you have any questions, email Michelle Workman at . To see pictures from last year’s parade go to

Fairyland Festival Set for May 1

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Rainy weather has postponed the much beloved Fairyland Festival to Tuesday, May 1. The forecast calls for sunny skies, snow cones, confetti eggs and pure mayhem.
That’s right, folks, the soggy spring we have had cannot put a damper on the much beloved Fairyland Festival. Now in its 62 year, the Festival promises to bring back all your favorites plus a few new booths sure to delight the whole family. Lazer tag, inflatibles and pony rides are back, as are Mr. T’s pizza, Clumpie’s Ice Creme and Krispy Kremes. New this year is the farmer’s market booth and Two Sons food truck. So don’t worry if you didn’t have time to make it to the grocery store or prepare dinner, the Fairyland Festival has you covered. Kristin Tremain, Festival Chair recently told us about some new exciting shakeups to the old lineup. The swine is gone, but the slime is on. Fairyland faculty members will not be subjected to “kiss the pig”, however students can vote on which faculty member they would like to be slimed. The “sliming” will take place at 6:30 p.m. The festival will begin at 3 p.m. with the presentation of the king and queen and end at 7 p.m. Bring the whole family for food, fun and fancy, while supporting Fairyland School.

Ann Brown Encourages the Community to Save the Bees

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When Ann Brown retired from her position as research librarian for the Memphis school system, she and her husband, Howard, moved to Lookout Mountain to be closer to their daughter, Alicia Oliver, and her family, husband Eric and children Jack, Sarah and Will, all Baylor students. Perhaps she planned to relax and putter about in her garden, but thankfully for this community, she didn’t. It’s true that Ann may love nothing more than digging around in the dirt, but that’s not the root of it.
Upon retirement, Ann earned her certification as a master gardener and became involved with Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones, an organization for folks interested in landscaping with native plants. There are lots of reasons to plant native plants, one being that they are not invasive. But the main reason Ann is such a proponent of them is because our future depends on them, literally. She is very passionate about this, and she is not referring to the future of anyone’s formal garden.
About 80 percent of the plants in the entire world are dependent on pollinators, and one of every three bites of food we take is the result of pollination. Do you love your brie with a few grapes and a crisp wheat cracker? Forget it if we lose our pollinators. And forget cheddar, half-and-half and Greek yogurt – all dairy requires pollination.
Forty-five percent of the world’s insects have been destroyed, and 40 percent of pollinators face actual extinction. But if Ann Brown has anything to do with it, this is not going to happen.
This petite, attractive lady doesn’t look like a force to be reckoned with, but despite her patient and nonjudgmental way, she is. The muscle behind both Lookout Mountain towns’ designation as Bee City USAs, Ann’s goal is to educate folks about the real danger we are facing. “I’m so impressed with our city councils’ attitude toward our environment – they are so supportive, and care so much about what the mountain is going to become,” Ann said.
You might think it’s enough to buy a mess of plants at a big box garden center and plant them, but it’s not. Neonectoids, a systemic poison that is commonly used by growers, is fatal to all insects. Commonly known as neonics, they are banned in some countries, but are alive and well in the U.S. Ann urges everyone to ask if plants have been treated with neonics before buying them. Supposedly, a few of the big box garden centers will no longer carry plants that have been treated with neonics after this year, or next. For now, there is a section at the Barn Nursery that is pesticide-free, and both Bees on a Bicycle and Reflection Riding offer plants that are free of pesticides.
Monarch butterflies journey twice a year from Canada to Mexico and need fortification along the way. Fifty years ago, clouds of these spectacular insects wafted across Lookout Mountain. Because of development and pesticides, there is a food shortage for these butterflies. Ann is charging each of us with the mission of creating a butterfly garden on our property, or adding pollinator plants to our existing gardens. She will help us achieve this, and actually is responsible for a plethora of workshops at Lookout Mountain’s Pollinator Festival on May 20 at the Commons. One of these upcoming workshops even offers the chance to bring a picture of your existing garden for analysis and recommendations.
“If you build it, they will come,” the famous quote from the movie “Field of Dreams,” is applicable here. And because of the tenacity and commitment and knowledge of Ann Brown, I have no doubt the monarch butterflies will come again. In droves.

Pop-Up Shop to Raise Funds for New School

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Vendors: Heather Devaney, Betsy Rice, Merrile Stroud and Michelle Viscomi

In late October, as the yellow jackets were finally dissipating because of cooler temperatures, Betsy Rice got a bee in her bonnet.

“I have met so many people lately who are pursuing passions, creating their dreams, stepping out of their comfort zones, and at the same time walking life with great purpose, stretching, and growing new muscles,” Betsy said. “Hearing their stories moved me to want more and to connect more.”

After doing some research, Betsy connected with “Beacon People,” a group of women in Birmingham, Ala., who joined forces to provide avenues for people to gather together with their talents and to support a philanthropy that is important to them, simultaneously. Twice a year, “Beacon People” coordinates Pop-Up Marketplaces through ambassadors like Betsy in order to showcase local goods and to raise funds for a purpose.

Joining forces with Betsy are her committee members Michelle Viscomi, Heather Devaney and Merrile Stroud, and together they are coordinating a “Beacon People Pop-Up” shopping experience on Saturday, December 9, in the Lookout Mountain School Skating Rink from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. This will be a great opportunity for the community to do some Christmas shopping close to home.

The majority of the registration fees from vendors will be donated in support of Chattanooga Preparatory School, an all-boys charter school in Chattanooga’s Highland Park area, which will welcome 60 sixth grade boys into its classrooms in the fall of 2018. Chattanooga Prep is the culmination of an initiative led by Ted and Kelly Alling with hopes of providing an excellent educational opportunity for youth in Chattanooga.

“We are providing a pop-up marketplace on Lookout as an effort to celebrate and connect community, and to show support for Chattanooga Prep, the boys and their bright futures,” Betsy adds with excitement. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved, and we hope that our community will come shop as we support better educational choices in Chattanooga.” Other Beacon People events are happening in Montgomery, Ala., Tupelo, Miss., Nashville and Chicago, and these efforts have even reached Italy.

Some of the vendors participating include: Carrie Kleban, Hayley Brook USA lounge pants and shorts; Romana and Marco Biscarini, Vibrant Meals; Jan Best, Jan’s Custom Candles; Meg Jacobs,Vivienne Walker clothing; Ali Vannoy, photography; Rachell Rice, Three Button Hand Me Down repurposed clothing; Emily Rice, art; Susanne Jones, Holland & Birch jewelry; Michelle Fountain, artist; Merrile Stroud, art/ornaments; Kathy Graham, boxwood wreaths/Christmas gifts; Adelaide Naumann, Divine Goods gift baskets; Michelle Viscomi, Treasured Toffee; Betsy Rice, encaustic art; Lauren J. Brown, “Behind The Pines” book signing; and Greyson Brown, The Pillow Bar, luxurious embroidered bedding, pillows and sleepwear.

For more information on the market, email To learn more about Chattanooga Preparatory School, go to or search for the school on Facebook and Instagram.

Lookout Mountain Primary Care Welcomes Dr. Greg May

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This month Lookout Mountain Primary Care welcomes a new full-time doctor to their staff, Dr. Greg May. As a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), May brings the full resources of an MD with a fresh approach to patient care. We sat down with him to learn more about the Mississippi native.

What brought you to Chattanooga?

I’ve lived my whole life in Mississippi. I grew up in Hattiesburg, attended Mississippi State for undergrad and William Carey Medical School. Even so, I did my residency with University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and fell in love with the town and the people here. Lookout Mountain is particularly unique. I love how tight the community is up here – people really “do life together.” There aren’t many communities like that anymore.

How did you come to Lookout Mountain Primary Care?

I did a rotation with Erlanger my fourth year of medical school and ended up interviewing for my residency while on rotation. I love being with Erlanger; the faculty is really welcoming and it’s such a great learning environment. I met Dr. Bill Moore Smith in residency and have a lot of respect for what he’s built. He has a genuine passion for keeping Erlanger-trained family medicine doctors in the system. We spoke several times, and they had a need for a full-time doctor at this location. I came up to the clinic and the staff was awesome. I felt comfortable from the start and it seemed like a good fit.

What are you most excited about in this new role?

I look forward to integrating with the Lookout Mountain community. I’d love to give talks at the elementary schools about being healthy, and reach out to Covenant students to let them know we are a resource. I’m also really excited to start rotations at Thrive. One of my passions is working with the older population. Growing up my dad was a family medicine doctor and did a lot of nursing home care. I remember he would drag us into the place and have us talk to the patients. Looking back it was really kind of special – sometimes all they needed was for someone to sit there and talk to them. Eventually I hope to see patients at Thrive every Wednesday, but I’ll be seeing all ages at the office.

What exactly is the distinction between MD and DO?

It’s the same training and the same residencies, but Doctors of Osteopathy focus on musculoskeletal diseases. Our philosophy is that all parts of the body work together and influence each other. So rather than seeking out sickness, we consider how things like daily environment, diet, medicines or other factors play a role. We’re trying to find health rather than finding disease. We like to focus on preventative care, and often try to take medicines away rather than prescribe. That being said there are definitely times it’s required. I like to think if you listen long enough, the patient will tell you what’s wrong whether they realize it or not.

You’re a family medicine doctor…what about your family?

My wife Lori is a speech pathologist at Siskin. We live in the North Chattanooga area and have twin boys, Luke and Truman. They’re pretty wild. We just try to keep up!

Shamrock City Returns this Weekend

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Rock City’s Shamrock City
March 11-12 and 18-19, 8:30 am to 5 pm daily

Transport yourself to Ireland for FREE this weekend at Rock City. You may not actually cross the pond but the 10th Annual Shamrock City is a close second with Celtic music, Irish food and other St. Patrick’s shenanigans. (Remember locals get in free with resident passes).

Everything is turning green for the celebration, from the waterfall to the fudge. You can also take a jig lesson, hear live music from bands such as The Molly Maguires or scale the Blarney Stone Climbing Wall.

Dublin your fun at the Suffolk Sheep Encounter, compliments of Bagby’s Critter Coral (10 am until 3 pm daily). New this year is a caricature artist and panning for gold. As with all of Rock City’s special events, kids can get a passport that includes activities, coupons and a place for collecting stamps throughout the park.

Delicious Irish bites include mulligan stew, corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, green kettle corn and limeade – available at different food locations throughout Rock City. Afterward, stop by Starbucks and ask for colored Matcha powder to add to a variety of fun frappuccinos!

Go to Rock City's website for more info on the entertainment lineup.

Shamrock City is once again partnering with the Chattanooga district of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Guests can purchase green shamrocks for $1 and gold shamrocks for $5 now through March 23 to help supply needed funds to local families with MD.

Make sure to ask for Chattanooga’s spring break safari guide at the ticket desk available March 10 – April 9. Enjoy a RockQuest Adventure and scavenger hunt at Rock City!

Fifth Annual Potato Cannon Competition This Weekend

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Start you New Year off with a BANG…literally. The 5th annual Lookout Mountain Potato Cannon Competition will be held this Saturday, December 31, at 1:00 p.m. on Carter Field.

There will be hot chocolate and doughnuts, but don’t let the sweets fool you. This is stone-cold competition. The contest will be officiated by Dr. Sam Smartt, the honorable Jay Hildebrand and the venerated BD Chapin, with numerous assistants to be named ad hoc according to an official press release.

The event is a family affair, with members 21 years or older building and firing the canon. All spuds species are welcome as ammunition, and awards have gone to heaviest potato (2.93 lbs. in 2014).

Each cannon must be a traditional potato canon with a basic combustion launch mechanism (no dry ice bombs or pneumatic launchers). Cannons will be inspected and approved by NPCA Commissioner Joseph Wingfield.

If you don't have a cannon, it can be put together pretty easily (about an hour) with about $30 of materials. See more here or here

Many have tried, but few have earned spud stardom like last year’s Single Game Point Total, Stephen Barnes. He was followed John Conrad, Joseph Wingfield and Marshall Brock. Last year’s hang time record went to Jason Lehn. The all-time winner of average points per contest goes to Don Kent (676) followed by Joseph Wingfield (628).

Whether you’re a potato canon pro or a tater tot, this year’s launch promises to be a fun gathering of Lookout Mountain neighbors. Grab your guns and your spuds and head to Carter Field on Saturday!

Watch competition highlights from 2013, compliments of David Caines.

A Lookout Mountain Mom’s Crusade

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3 Blind Wines presented by The FEED Co. Table & Tavern
November 18 at 6 pm
Stratton Hall

Ginger Birnbaum didn’t expect to have a deep conversation with her four-year-old on the way home from the pediatrician. It had been a trying week with a virus that quickly turned into an infection requiring Cipro and Clindamycin.

All of a sudden he said having Cystic Fibrosis ‘makes me mad,’” she recalls. “I asked him if it also makes him sad or scared. He said, ‘No, just really mad!’

Normally a happy-go-lucky kid who takes everything in stride, King also possesses a spunk that serves him well as he fights a disease that affects his entire body at the cellular level. He endures two-hour a day respiratory therapy and a nightly feeding tube. He takes 13 medications (on good days), and digestive enzymes before every meal.

But when you talk to the Birnbaums, the only thing you hear is hope – unwavering, unflinching, downright dogged optimism for a cure. And not just for King, but for the other 30,000 Americans living with Cystic Fibrosis.

We have 100 percent faith in the drug development process,” she says. “Our hope is that there will be a medicine for him as soon as 3 years and as long as 10.

That’s why the Birnbaums are relentless champions for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), personally raising over $200,000 since King was diagnosed at birth in 2011. Their most recent endeavor was Xtreme Hike in Damascus, VA.

The trek involved waking up at 2 a.m. and hiking 30.1 miles in one day on the Appalachian Trail. When Ginger got on the bus to take them back to the hotel, she felt like she’d been hit by a truck. And she can’t wait to do it again.

“There are very few fundraisers that you can also say develop you personally,” she says. “It was all around an amazing experience.”

Another event close to their hearts, 3 Blind Wines presented by The Feed Co. Table & tavern, is happening November 18 at Stratton Hall. Guests will enjoy wine tastings, silent and live auction, and music by Slim Pickins. The Top Off: The Three Blind Wines After Party, is being hosted by presenting sponsor The Feed Co. complete with specialty drinks and draft specials and music by Brokedown Hound.

In addition to chairing the event for the past four years with her husband Alex, Ginger serves as the president of CFF’s local board of directors and co-chair for CFF’s national family team program. Next year she has been asked to co-chair the Foundation’s Volunteer Leadership Conference, which brings together roughly 500 volunteers to share fundraising goals and celebrate advancements.

But what excites her most is the 20,000-square-foot, custom-built laboratory recently opened in Lexington, MA. She was invited to attend the ribbon cutting in September.

It was a huge honor to be included,” she recalls. “I got to personally meet the scientists who will one day cure our son.

Funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the research facility will be solely dedicated to identifying and testing potential therapies for CF, exploring cutting-edge technologies like gene editing and stem cell research. The lab frees the Foundation from the bureaucracies of university research, which can often take up to a year for approval to share assays, cells or any other intellectual property.

“We built this lab; everyone who’s ever given a dollar to the cause helped build this amazing lab that will someday save our child’s life,” she says excitedly. “A self-funded lab is basically unheard of, but it’s typical of the Foundation to be on the forefront of groundbreaking things like that.”

Founded in 1955 by parents desperate to save their kids’ lives, CFF remains an institution of impassioned parents. Overhead is kept low, fundraising margins are razor thin and donated dollars go toward research, patient assistance and patient care. Charity Navigator awards them 4 of 4 stars.

CFF was the first disease advocacy group to develop a network of health care centers dedicated to its cause. In the late 1990s, they were the first to delve into venture philanthropy – a business model that’s been studied by Harvard. Virtually every approved cystic fibrosis drug therapy available now was made possible because of the Foundation and its supporters.

“It’s kind of amazing this incredible foundation that benefits my child so much also has opportunities for me to plug in and invest emotionally and physically,” says Ginger.

A dollar is a big deal, five dollars is a huge deal. It’s really about the investment. As a parent, I can’t tell you what it does for us emotionally that anyone would drop anything in the bucket. It’s another reinforcement that we’re moving forward. If you’re moving forward you’re going somewhere.

More information on the Birnbaum's CFF fundraising team, Kenneth King's Believers

Fill the Boot! at Cafe on the Corner

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Tonight is Halloween. But before you brave the goblins on your candy crusade, think about something truly frightening – Lookout Mountain Georgia’s volunteer fire department is operating without optimal equipment.

They told me they get ‘resourceful,’ which means they buy things second hand – sometimes even out of their pockets,” explains Ruth Oehmig, owner of Café on the Corner. “I know we don’t live in downtown Manhattan where there are fires all the time, but I’m telling you we are messing with odds.

That is why she will be hosting her second “Fill the Boot!” party this Thursday, November 3. Complimentary hot dogs, hamburgers and chili will be available on the patio with a cash bar inside. Bring plenty of extra cash (or a check) to make a donation to the brave men who get up in the middle of the night to keep our mountain safe.

Just like most causes in our community, this isn’t a GA vs. TN issue. While the Tennessee department won’t be directly impacted, they rely heavily on Georgia’s firefighters every time there’s a significant fire event – much like the blaze that leveled Oehmig’s restaurant in 2014.

She hopes this year will be as well attended as last, which welcomed several hundred people to her newly re-opened restaurant.


Christ Reformed Baptist Church
Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal
Cloudland Canyon
Cravens House
Hang Gliding
Incline Railway
Lookout Mountain Mirror
Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church
Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church
Point Park
Rock City
Ruby Falls
Sunset Rock
The Battles for Chattanooga Museum
The Lookout Mountain Club
Town Commons – Lookout Mountain, TN
United Methodist