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How To Celebrate July 4th In Nashville
by TJ Anderson
Let me be the 998th person to ask you: Have you sorted out your Fourth of July plans yet?
I’m still debating, myself — celebrating freedom by enjoying the freedom to be indecisive. The good and bad thing about Nashville, come July 4, is that we have a lot of worthwhile options for celebration.
If you’re still on the fence too, here’s my short list of solid choices, sorted by what kind of experience you’re set up to have:
July 4th celebration options in Nashville
The most obvious and most mammoth celebration, of course, is the one downtown, this year headed up by local superstar Sheryl Crow, with performances by a bunch of other exemplary Nashville talents, including Rayland Baxter, Ruby Amanfu and the Nashville Symphony, over July 3 and 4. The event has a new location for 2016, artists taking two stages at Ascend Amphitheater and The Green at Riverfront Park. But as in past years, there’ll be family stuff (like climbing walls and water slides), vendors, proximity to the massive fireworks display and other fun with thousands and thousands of neighbors and visitors. And it’s free.
Every year in East Nashville, the finest producers of our city’s unofficial official food, hot chicken, take to East Park to dish out samples in the sun. (The first 500 attendees get free tastes.) It’s a good opportunity to check out hot chicken options you haven’t tasted yet, or just have more of your long-held favorites, but bear in mind: The lines are always as long as the chicken is hot. Still, there are plenty of other local vendors on site, and beer from Nashville’s Yazoo to cool things down. The fest kicks off at 11 a.m. wraps at 3 p.m., so it can be part 1 of a multi-pronged celebration, if you choose to really throw down. It’s free fun, too.
Something especially Independent
“Low Power, High Voltage” radio station WXNA launched in Nashville recently, bringing freeform radio back to the local airwaves — you’ll hear everything from classical music to comedy to punk rock on 101.5 FM and/or www.wxnafm.org. DJs and friends of the station will be celebrating independent radio, in fitting fashion, on Independence Day, with an all-day party at East Nashville’s Family Wash. The shindig is a benefit for the station (with a $5 suggested donation at the door), and there’ll be giveaways, lots of music and a perch to catch the fireworks, too. Things run from noon to 11 p.m. at 626 Main Street.
An opportunity to start celebrating a little early, on July 3, with ample amounts of patriotism and a fair share of fancy — Nashville’s world-class Symphony presides over this celebration at the beautiful Schermerhorn Symphony Center downtown, performing a mix of red, white and blue music: the 1812 Overture, “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” etc. The concert kicks off at 7 p.m., but you’re invited to show up early and grab dinner/dessert from food trucks on Symphony Place — they’ll be there starting at 5.
Did you know that the smarts-inducing Adventure Science Center happens to be one of the best places to watch the fireworks on the 4th? It’s true. Much less crazy on the parking front, and it includes a live feed of the Nashville Symphony’s accompaniment. Plus, their party is particularly great for families, since there’ll be live science demonstrations, games and music, and the option to explore the Center from 7 to 10 p.m. and do a little learning.
Raise a glass to independence. Then raise another glass. Maybe a third. At City Winery’s party, you’ll be able to taste a selection of wines from all over the world, plus American craft beer, paired with cheese and charcuterie. The patio has a nice skyline view, too.
Something close to effortless
Don’t feel like braving a crowd that extends beyond your family and your pets? Pro tip: You can watch a livestream of the downtown Let Freedom Sing event at visitmusiccity.com/july4th, starting at 5 p.m. on the Fourth. Crank the AC, kick off your shoes, and celebrate the freedom to stay home.
Hope these suggestions help — if you’re chewing on anything I should add to my list, let me know in the comments or on Facebook.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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