Here are some of our picks for the weekend:
To fortify yourself for the busy next three days, we suggest the Fork In The Road Food Truck Festival at Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market (2730 Lebanon Road) Friday at 4:00 p.m, with live music from Hiptet at 5:00 p.m. In addition to such local favorites as Hoss’s Loaded Burgers, Yayo’s OMG!, Hot Mama’s Spicy Street Food, Bradley’s Curbside Creamery, and the Magic Food Bus you can visit regular vendors on this season opening.
If you want to try your hand at a few choice recipes—or if you’d like to see how the celebrity chefs sauce it, bake it, and stir it up—remember to visit the Southern Women’s Show at the Music City Center, which continues Friday (10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.), Saturday (10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.), and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.).
Friday, check out chef Dana Elliott in the morning and enjoy “Girls Night Out” with Adley Stump, new emcee of “Country Showdown USA,” in the evening. Friday and Saturday, get your fill of Joy (Comedienne JOY, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Clean!”). At the magic hour of noon Saturday, catch Peter Fancinelli (Twilight, Nurse Jackie, American Odyssey) and on Sunday at 1:00 p.m., catch TLC’s Randy Fenoli the fashion designer who says, “Hello, Beautiful!” to brides of all sizes, shapes and ages on Say Yes to the Dress and other TLC shows.
In addition to the celebrity demonstrations, grab a swag bag and visit dozens of exhibitors. General admission for adults is $12.00 at the door ($6.00 for children ages 6-12) and free for children under six years of age(with paying adult). Look for discounts—including $2.00 off general admission and $5.00 off after 5:00pm Friday—on the event website.
Another option Friday night: Find out about Size Matters: A Comedy of XXL Proportions in a Franklin Theater show through the characters created by “heavy-set everyman” Raymond McAnally. The veteran playwright will use fifteen characters in his one-man show to provide a “comedic tale of his current life as a plus-sized actor,” woven with “the topics of bullying, body issues, love, and family responsibility from a refreshing and often unheard male perspective.” If you prefer to binge on laughter instead of food truck fare, venture McAnally’s stories set against the backdrop of his hometown: Franklin, Tenn. Scenes include Cottonwood, Grassland, a friend’s farm in Dickson, and McAnally’s wedding in Nashville. (There is a Saturday show, too.)
Saturday brings several artful options. You may spend time at Centennial Park for the spring Tennessee Craft (formerly TACA) Fair and join booklovers at Parnassus Books to celebrate the inaugural Independent Bookstore Day.
At the fair, you can visit with participating artists and pick up your own one-of-a-kind treasures for gifts and yourself—just because! If you bring the family, visit the kids’ tent, where artisans will create work in front of you. The Tennessee Craft Fair runs Friday and Saturday, from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
At Parnassus Books, your options are equally diverse: games, snacks, crafts, and an original story created in front of the audience by some of Nashville’s literary finest. The store, open from 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., will offer a limited supply of items for sale created specifically for Independent bookstore day: Stephen King broadsides, literary tea towel sets, a Margaret Atwood stencil, and more. (Note: If you are about to snatch the last Atwood stencil, make sure the blogger of this piece has secured hers!) After you leave Green Hills, why not head downtown to Nashville’s Arcade between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. for another First Saturday Art Crawl?
If you’re a Shakespeare lover and missed the city’s largest balcony scene last Sunday at the main branch of the Nashville Public Library last Sunday don’t jump off the balcony: You’ve a chance to celebrate the belated 450th birthday of the Bard of Avon at the library from noon-3:00 p.m. Saturday during another “Shakespeare Allowed!”, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s event that allows participants to read aloud in a circle every play Shakespeare ever wrote. This month’s selection? Henry VI, Part II—not quite as comedic as McAnally’s Size Matters, but engaging nonetheless.
And just so English queens get their due, Elizabeth I is the honoree for the 30th annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival at Castle Gwynn in Arrington. Grab a turkey leg (or the fare of your choosing) and watch a joust, wander the grounds, and have your children knighted—activities designed to capture 16th Century England. The festival runs on Saturdays and Sundays, May 2-24, plus Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Also included in the weekend package are lots of Kentucky Derby watching parties, one of which is the City Winery’s. Portions of the proceeds from the festivities will benefit the Nashville Rescue Mission.
Finally, for your health’s sake: Consider joining Nashville Mayor Karl Dean for 100 Miles with the Mayor 2015, which takes place from May 3 through May 22—offering ways to walk, bike and paddle across Nashville with your neighbors in 18 events that are free and open to people with all levels of ability.