On A High Note

Nashville gears up for another spectacular Fourth of July/ What to do in Nashville on the Fourth

Fireworks light p Nashville's Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge

Leigh Greenwood is filling in for Jessi Maness, who is on vacation this week.

Fireworks light p Nashville's Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge

Fireworks light p Nashville’s Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge

Of all the national holidays that celebrate our heritage, our heroes and our hard work, none of them are quite as exciting as the Fourth of July. Celebrating our nation’s independence has become a toe-tapping, fireworks-oohing, hotdog-roasting summer party! And no one does it better than our very own Music City!

For decades now, Nashville has hosted a celebration respected nationwide for its enthusiastic embrace of all things Nashville – from boots to bottle rockets, our Independence bash is second to none! Each year, the esteemed and erudite Nashville Symphony rolls up its shirtsleeves and heads to the river for an unparalleled musical celebration of America’s Independence.

Nashville is now considered one of the premiere destinations for our Fourth of July celebration throughout the country. As a Nashville girl born and raised, I am quite proud of our town! One of Nashville’s greatest triumphs has been our ability to build on our fine, “big city” offerings throughout the years while still holding on to our “small town” feel.

Our Fourth of July celebration is the epitome of that way of life we’re all so lucky to experience. So come on down to the Riverfront to celebrate our nation’s independence… Nashville style!

The Nashville Convention and Visitors’ Bureau (NCVB) is again hosting a fabulous, family-friendly, and firecracker-ful feté for the Fourth! “We promise this year to be bigger and better than ever with a new location, great talent and the longest and largest fireworks show in the city’s history,” declares Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the NCVB.

“Let Freedom Sing!,” the big event scheduled for both July 3rd AND 4th, promises to be an event full of exceptional musical venues, including our beloved group “The Mavericks,” as well as the venerable Nashville Symphony! Here are some fabulous details about the big fireworks show:

– Did you know that SEVEN TONS of fireworks will be used in the big show? That’s fourteen thousand pounds! Wow!
– The big show is scheduled to run twenty-five minutes, which is the biggest show in Nashville’s history!
– Nashville is ranked as one of the top shows in the country. We beat out a number of other cities to make it to the top list in such noteworthy rankings as Forbes, Huffington Post, and Yahoo! Travel. It’s certainly a show not to be missed!
– One of the best features about Nashville’s big event this Fourth of July is that it is spread out over two days. No more rushing about, trying to finish up your neighborhood picnic or your watermelon-eating contest in time for the big whiz-bang fireworks show! You can come and visit the big event throughout Tuesday and the big day, Wednesday.
– Speaking of picnics and watermelon-eating contests, one of my favorite memories of childhood Fourth of July celebrations has got to be the year I got dressed up as Betsy Ross and paraded around our neighborhood with other similarly-costumed neighbor kids, pulled in a wagon on the back of our family riding lawnmower. I still remember how sweaty and itchy that bonnet was! I’m sure we all have fond memories of childhood festivities.

Aside from my brief foray into the holiday pageantry as Betsy Ross, one of my very favorite parts of the Fourth of July has got to be homemade ice cream. Peach, of course.

In fact, that reminds me. I need to hurry to the store and get a new ice cream maker. Our poor old Rival just met its Maker over Memorial Day. It had a good long life – at least 30 years old. Its metal rings holding the little barrel together were as rusted as could be. But he kept on chugging, through many years of happy Fourth of July ice cream churnings. Rest in peace, little ice cream maker.

I’ll be breaking in a new one this year, but you’ll find me at the Riverfront on the Fourth, thoroughly enjoying our small town’s big city festivities. Come join me!

What to do in Nashville on the Fourth
If you’re like me, you can’t quite decide what would be the best use of your time tomorrow on the 4th. Should you go downtown to see the big show? It’s certainly a show not to be missed. Should you visit your small town’s parade and pancake breakfast? It would certainly be quaint and home-spun. Or should you simply stay home and sweat over your own burgers on the grill? Tough decision.

We here at Sports and Entertainment Nashville want to help. Here is a listing of all the exciting events happening around town, be they big or small. Hopefully, we can help you fit in a little bit of everything from the smorgasbord of Fourth of July events. And if you decide not to get off your duff and instead prefer to blacken your own burgers at home, well, we tried. Happy birthday, America!

From your humble citizens at Sports and Entertainment Nashville…

Nashville: “Let Freedom Sing!” Music City July 4th Spectacular
This is the big one downtown on the Riverfront. It will definitely be the biggest party in town. The days’ events are already happening, if you can believe it. In fact, there’s a fireworks show scheduled for tonight, too! They just couldn’t wait to kick off the big celebration! It’s a two-day extravaganza down there!

Tonight’s fireworks show is set to begin at approximately 9:00 p.m. Music, food, entertainment, kid fun… you name it, they’ve got it! Fireworks set to music by the Nashville Symphony with the big show scheduled to start at 9:45 pm.2.

Franklin: “Franklin on the Fourth”
Franklin always does a great job combining great fireworks with a touch of homespun feel, with their children’s costume parade and hot dog-eating contest. This year, they’re moving off the Square and over to Harlinsdale Farm Park with better fireworks’ views and parking. This way, you won’t have to zoom around town from the Square to your favorite viewing spot, elbowing for parking before the big event starts.
Come to Harlinsdale Farm Park and stay for fun and fireworks! The children’s parade is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. with the fireworks scheduled to begin at approximately 9:00 pm.

Brentwood: “4th of July Celebration”
Brentwood always does a fine job of celebrating America’s birth in true Brentwood fashion. The city’s celebration is, once again, at the Eddy Arnold Ampitheater at Crockett Park. There will be live music by The Kadillacs, and the fireworks show is set to begin at dusk. Bring a picnic to set out on the lawn, and enjoy the festivities!

Adventure Science Center: “Fireworks Viewing at ASC!”
While unfortunately this event has recently sold out, it is worth mentioning, even if only to plan for next year! This event would have kept you from the traffic and crowds of downtown yet have a birds-eye view of the big show! Plan ahead next year and attend the museum’s event – you can even watch from the roof! Now doesn’t that sound nifty?!

Nolensville: “Nolensville’s 2012 July 4th Celebration
This down-home event promises to be a throwback to the quaint, cheerful event you remember from days gone by. Little girls dancing on stage, inflatable bouncy houses for kids to bounce in, and a pie bake-off for the grownups all promise to be a fabulous community event in our favorite small town of Nolensville! Fireworks are scheduled to begin at dusk.

Well, we hope this listing will help you decide what to do on the big day. Hopefully, we will all have a fun, fabulous, and safe Fourth of July! Stay cool and enjoy yourself! Happy Fourth of July, everyone!