5 Great Ways to Celebrate July 4th in Nashville 2014
I am writing this on the summer solstice, the first day of summer, the longest daylight of the year and the shortest night. This is my favorite day of the year as I am a sun loving, heat seeking Southern girl, much better suited for the long, languid days of summer then the cold, darkness of winter. Today after my yoga class, I went by The Produce Place on Murphy Road in the fabulous area known as Sylvan Park, a wonderful, small, locally owned grocery store where you can get the finest in local and regional produce and other Tennessee made products, and bought my first summer homegrown Georgia cantaloupe and sugar baby watermelon, Washington bing cherries, South Carolina peaches, Tennessee blueberries and blackberries and Florida vine ripened tomatoes. I see a fabulous fruit salad in my immediate future. It won't be long before the Tennessee tomatoes, peaches and melons start rolling in and I can't wait to get my hands on some of the best heirloom tomatoes around and make my very first heirloom tomato tart. I just may have to divulge my recipe to you all as catering is my primary profession - writing is my first love.We are rapidly approaching July, the month where we will celebrate our Country's Independence Day. You know, rockets' red glare, bombs bursting in air and all that jazz. July 4th is filled with great opportunities for frolicking and fun for the entire family. I have taken a bit of time this morning to find some of those great events for you, so start making your plans and don't forget to put on that sunscreen before you leave your house for the day!
Music City July 4th 10k/5k
If you want to start your July 4th with a bit of exercise for a good cause you can head on down to 1 Public Square in downtown Nashville for the Independence Day 5k or 10k walk/run which benefits The Salvation Army. One of the places you can sign up for this event is at this website: www.active.com/articles/independence-day-the-biggest-racing-day-of-the-year After you run/walk your race, you can then feel free to eat all the goodies you want all day.
East Nashville Hot Chicken Festival
Then you can head over to the East side of town for the Music City Hot Chicken Festival located in East Park on Woodland Street. This event starts at 10:30 with a Fire Truck Parade which starts at 7th and Woodland. From 11 - 3 you can sample hot chicken from Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish, The Chicken Shack, 400 Degrees, Hattie B's Hot Chicken, Pepperfire Hot Chicken and Prince's Hot Chicken Shack and wash it all down with a local Yazoo Beer or other beverage of your choice. There is an amateur hot chicken competition and a new winner just might be crowned this year! Live entertainment abounds all day with music from Shelby Bottom String Band, Centennial Hiptet, Stephen Salyers and Kevin Ball and the Busters and there are loads of family friendly activities.
Let Freedom Sing Independence Day Celebration
Just across the river in downtown Nashville, Music City is gearing up for the Music City July 4th Fireworks and Concert - Let Freedom Sing. Starting at noon and going until 5pm on 5th Avenue, there is fun for the whole family with climbing walls, water slides, games, crafts and live music. From 6:30 - 9:30 on the Music Stage on Broadway you can hear music from Billy Currington, Ashley Monroe and Striking Matches. The BIG FINISH is the HUGE fireworks display on Riverfront with music from our own Nashville Symphony Orchestra which will start around 9:30. You won't want to miss this extravaganza!
Brentwood and Franklin Celebrations
If you are in Brentwood or Franklin there are great opportunities for you there also. At 7pm in Crockett Park you can enjoy the sounds of The Kadillacs. Or you can take part in Franklin on the Fourth Jazz Festival in Downtown Franklin. The festivities begin at 10am with more family fun, music, crafts, food, antique cars and a kid zone. At 5pm there is a Children's Parade your kids won't want to miss with prizes for best costume and decorated bikes! The live entertainment lasts all day, until 8pm, which gives you just enough time to head on over to see the fireworks at The Park at Harlinsdale Farms which begins at 9pm.
Where you will most likely find me is lying on a blanket on the green grass of Belle Meade Country Club, watching as their fabulous fireworks soar into the sky, burst into myriads of colors and shapes and fall effortlessly back to the ground. You can park on Belle Meade Boulevard and take a short stroll to the Golf Course. I like to take a flashlight with me to find my way and arrive there around 8:30. The fireworks display begins around 9:00.
Whatever you choose to do, I wish you all a happy and safe Fourth of July!