Event Info

WALK WEEK UPDATES AND DETAILS!

BEFORE WALK

Online registration open through 4/10: Online registration ends Wednesday afternoon at 5pm so we can organize shirts. People who haven’t registered yet can also register at the walk if they missed online. We can’t guarantee shirts for those who register at the walk however, so encourage other people to register online ASAP.

Early Shirt Pick-Up: This is optional. Friday (April 12) from 9am to 4pm registered people can come pick up their shirts at the CAC. Teams can send their captain or representative and pick the whole batch up at once. Go to the CAC, 1400 McCallie Avenue, Suite 100.

DAY OF WALK - (Coolidge Park)

When to Arrive: Check-in, activities, vendors, music, and more are all set up at 9am. Attendees arrive anytime from 9-10:30. Try to give yourself plenty of time to park, check-in, and see exhibitors, and participate in all the pre-walk activities. 

Parking: We recommend parking in the Republic Parking lot off of Tremont St. across from the theater. It uses Park Mobile for the paid spots, or has a kiosk to pay. That lot does fill up though, so give yourself extra time to find other parking. Some people find street parking in North Chattanooga and walk down. This year the parking authority said the metered spots in the parking lots are being monitored, and people are responsible for paying.

Check-in: Shirts are in the Walker Pavilion at Coolidge Park. If you're on a team, have a representative pick them all up at once. And we’ll be able to register anyone who missed the online registration deadline.

What to Do: Take some pictures with your team at the photo booth. Let your kids play at the kids activity area. Take pictures with superheroes, Star Wars characters, and other costumed attendees. The exhibitors will have great information and some might have some giveaways. Enjoy face painting, music, and more. You can also bring chairs and/or blankets and set them in the grass as a home base. You can people watch, enjoy the park, or decide to connect with other families and see what brings them to this event. Enjoy this celebration and know that you're surrounded by people who support the autism community!

Schedule: We'll gather everyone at the stage around 10:30am for awards, announcements, and short warm-ups. The walk starts at 11 sharp! 

Awards: We're giving out awards for the top fundraising individuals and teams, biggest teams, and Team Spirit (so feel free to dress up if you want!). 

Route: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A MAP. We'll start at the stage in Coolidge Park and eventually cross the Walnut Street Bridge. We'll do a loop on the other side and then back the way we came. It’s about 2 miles total.

Walk Etiquette: Walk at your own pace. We'll have lead walkers who show the way and no one can pass them. Those who like to walk fast should go to the front and the rest can line up in the middle and end. We'll have walkers at the end of the line that make sure no one is left behind. Strollers are welcome!

After Walk: There's no closing ceremony and vendors will pack up after 11. Many families like to head out right after they walk, but you’re also welcome to stay and enjoy the park. 


About the 11th Annual Chattanooga Autism Celebration Walk 

When: April 13, 2024. Activities start at 9am. Walk will start promptly at 11am, and participants can expect to be finished by noon. 

Where: Coolidge Park, 150 River St, Chattanooga, TN 37405

Overview: The Chattanooga Autism Walk is the largest of its kind in East Tennessee. The event celebrates autistic people and raises public awareness and education about autism, leading to a more accepting and inclusive community. Families, educators, students, politicians, community leaders, businesses, and autistic adults stand together to celebrate and show their support. Funds raised at the walk help the Chattanooga Autism Center provide vital resources and services to the Chattanooga area.

Attendees: Last year we had over 1,000 individuals walking or attending the event. The majority are families who have an autistic child or relative. Other walkers are autistic adults, educators, students, community businesses, service providers, clinicians, and friends.

Teams: Anyone can register for the walk. Once registered, people can create teams and compete for prizes. Prizes are available for largest teams, the teams who raise the most money, individuals who raise the most money, and other categories.

Route: The 2-mile walk starts at 11:00am at Coolidge Park and heads over the Walnut Street Bridge. We’ll have 70+ huge banners showing different autism facts hanging on the bridge for all to read. People will learn about autism, prevalence rates, and positive aspects about autism while also dispelling myths. Walkers will learn how families appreciate that their community better understands autism and celebrates neurodiversity.

Activities: There will be music, acknowledgement of teams, prizes for team captains and individuals, sponsor recognition, and several kids’ activities starting at 9am. Dozens of exhibitors will have displays at tables to educate the public about their autism-related services.

Flyer: Click here to download. Please share at your school, workplace, and favorite businesses!

Proceeds: Funds raised beyond the event expenses will go to support the local programs of the Chattanooga Autism Center. These include the Autism Outpatient Clinic, Bridges ABA Therapy Clinic, Annual Conference, GCA Centre for Adult Autism, STAGES Adult Transition Program, Spanish Language Outreach Program, Ascending Scales Music Therapy, and more. To learn more about the Chattanooga Autism Center, visit chattanoogaautismcenter.org.