The colorful explosions aren’t the only entertainment at the Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing! celebration, of course. The festivities kick off on July 3 with a free concert with locals The Weeks, Gabe Dixon and others, then on the Fourth, we’ve got free music from the Nashville Symphony, Mikky Ekko and Martina McBride, fun stuff for little ‘Mericans at the free McDonalds’s Family Fun Zone (bouncy houses, games and fuel for a sugared-up afternoon via free OREO Frappe samples) and more.
Suffice it to say, there’s gonna be a big crowd downtown around Lower Broadway. But let’s say you’d rather something a little cozier, or you just don’t feel like hoofing it downtown and still have some patriotic spirit to flex… There are lots of other fun Fourth options in the area. Here are a few:
Franklin folk who’d prefer to stay close to home on the Fourth aren’t missing out on the chance to celebrate. There’ll be live bluegrass and country and more, food and craft vendors, a swing dance, fun for the young folk (petting zoo, pony rides and more) and, of course, a big fireworks display at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm. Also, a visit from a serious celeb: the Weinermobile. More info at the Franklin on the Fourth page.
Brentwood has its own hunk of music (from Paul Ross and the The Kadillacs), dancing and fireworks set to go down at the Eddy Arnold Amphitheater in Crockett Park, with free admission. The Fourth celebration kicks off at 7 p.m., with fireworks at 9, and everything wrapping at 10:30. More about the Brentwood Independence Day celebration here.
If you’re a Mt. Juliet dweller with a family, I’m pretty sure I know where you’ll be on the Fourth: at the Providence Marketplace town center. This particular Independence Day celebration has a total overload of awesomeness for kids, from face-painting and balloon art and inflatables to play on to a seriously stocked video game trailer (XBOX 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii with five HDTVs). There’ll of course also be live music and a fireworks display (the latter kicks off at 9 p.m.). The whole event lifts off at 4 p.m. More about the Providence Marketplace July 4th Celebration here.
Feel like making your Independence Day celebrating a weekend-long affair? Hendersonville’s Freedom Festival is held on Friday, July 3, and it has everything you’ll need to feel sufficiently Fourthy, from food to kids’ activities to fireworks, held in Drakes Creek Park. More on the Hendersonville Freedom Festival here.
Few things feel more American than a good old-fashioned eating contest, and Goodlettsville's Independence Day Celebration lets us show our patriotism there, with its Eating Contest registration starting at 5 p.m., the contest itself kicking off at 6. Of course, there’s plenty more to see and do on that Saturday in Moss-Wright Park, including the Goodlettsville Community Band playing patriotic music, a kid-centric activity zone and a 9 p.m. fireworks display. More on Goodlettsville's Independence Day Celebration here.
Wanna get a good seat for the downtown fireworks without fighting the full crowds? The Adventure Science Center hosts a July Fourth celebration that includes science-y fun inside and outside the center, DJs providing musical entertainment and a straight shot at the fireworks show. More info at the Adventure Science Center’s site.
Headed to an evening July Fourth celebration but want to get your partying started early? You can always amplify the “red” in your “red, white and blue” by heading down to East Park for the Music City Hot Chicken Festival, a July 4 tradition in Nashville. The celebration of the spicy stuff is free, and starts off at 11 a.m., with free hot chicken samples from the best purveyors in the city for the first 500 people in line (that may sound like a big number, but a word of advice: get there early), plus an amateur hot chicken cooking competition and lots more fun. More at the Music City Hot Chicken Festival website.
Another great option for an early start to your Independence Day celebrating, the Nashville Symphony’s Star Spangled Evening provides a true July Fourth soundtrack, though it’s held on July 3. You’ll hear a mix of patriotic music, from Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” to Richard Hayman’s “Servicemen on Parade,” culminating with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” all from our world-class Nashville Symphony. More on A Star Spangled Evening at the Nashville Symphony’s website.
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