Annual parade kicks off CMA Music Festival - WKRN News 2

Annual parade kicks off CMA Music Festival

Posted: Updated: June 6, 2012 1:42 PM CDT
Daily concerts take place at the Riverfront Park stage beginning Thursday at 10 a.m. Daily concerts take place at the Riverfront Park stage beginning Thursday at 10 a.m.

The 41st Annual CMA Music Festival officially takes place June 7 through June 10 in downtown Nashville but the festivities are already underway Wednesday.

The 8th Annual CMA Music Festival Kickoff Parade was held on Lower Broadway Wednesday morning.

Glen Campbell served as grand marshal.  Other participating artists included Bill Anderson, Lynn Anderson, Bucky Covington, Cowboy Troy, JT Hodges, Little Big Town, LoCash Cowboys, Lorrie Morgan, Julie Roberts, Trent Tomlinson and Corey Wagar, among others.

At 12:30 p.m., the 7th Annual CMA Music Festival Block Party got underway at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage at Riverfront Park.

Free and open to the public, the concert continues through 4 p.m. and will feature Little Big Town, Brazilbilly, Eric Lee Beddingfield and LoCash Cowboys.

Shane Tallant of "Music City 411" is this year's host.

The CMT Awards will air live from the Bridgestone Arena Wednesday night.  The show begins at 7 p.m. with actress Kristen Bell and country superstar Toby Keith as hosts.

"Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam" takes place at 10 p.m. Wednesday at the Ryman Auditorium.

Performers for this year's event include the Chuck Wagon Gang, Stonewall Jackson, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives and Roger McGuinn.

Tickets are required and can be purchased at, Ticketmaster outlets and the Ryman Auditorium Box Office.

The four-day CMA Music Festival officially kicks off Thursday morning with a concert by Montgomery Gentry at the Riverfront Park stage at 10 a.m.

Autograph sessions and meet-and-greets will also get underway at Fan Fair Hall at the Nashville Convention Center on the corner of Fifth and Broadway.

Glen Campbell, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band and Brad Paisley will perform on the LP Field stage Thursday night.

The CMA Music Festival started small in 1972 with only 5,000 fans and exploded into a major annual event in Nashville.

Fans come from 50 states and 26 nations to get up close to their favorite country music artists and the festival brings big business.

Last year's festival attracted more than 65,000 fans who spent more than $30 million in Music City, according to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In the last six years festival and concert ticket sales have generated $6.1 million for the CMA Keep the Music Playing Program, which works to keep music in local schools.

The CMA Music Festival was once known as fan fair because it's all about the fans.

For more than 40 years, artists have performed at the festival for free.

Visit our CMA Fest fan guide for complete festival details.

Visit WKRN.COM/Weather to check the latest forecast for all four days of the festival.

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