Tens of thousands attend annual Nashville fireworks show
July 4, 2012 09:02 PM
Reported By Joseph Pleasant, Reporter - bio | email
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Tens of thousands of people flocked to downtown Nashville to attend the annual Let Freedom Sing! celebration at Riverfront Park on Wednesday night.
Activities at the Fourth of July event kicked off at Noon with live music.
The Mavericks, Craig Morgan, Sarah Darling, the Music City Hit-Makers and the Nashville Symphony took to the stage beginning at 6:45 p.m.
The holiday fell in the middle of the work week but that did not stop travelers Mike and Pamela Becker from Michigan from attending Nashville's show.
"It's been wonderful. I have always wanted to come here. It's been on my ‘Bucket List, so we decided to come here," Pamela told Nashville's News 2.
Nashville is the largest show in the South and it's ranked one of the top five Fourth of July celebrations in the country.
This year's event was expected to draw in an additional 20,000 to 25,000 more attendees due to the new location.
"We are basically out growing the Riverfront. We want to be able to expand this and grow it every year. That's exactly what we have been doing so the new location serves that purpose," explained Jenny Stuber with the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Along with live music, food and games, the celebration also had a lot of heat.
Temperatures topped 100 degrees, which led organizers to increase the number of water stations and have emergency personnel on hand.
Some attendees, like Zach Zipfel who set up a hammock in the shade, found creative ways to beat the heat.
"It's actually brand new. I bought it last week. Its ultra light and I figured the trees down here are strong enough to take my weight," he said.
Last year, approximately 125,000 people attended the Fourth of July celebration, which generated $5.6 million in tax revenue.
Due to the Fourth of July festivities, several roads closed Wednesday morning, including:
- First Avenue from Union Street to the Korean Veteran's Bridge - Second Avenue from Church to Demonbreun Streets - Broadway from First to Third Avenues - Molloy Street from First to Second Avenues - Demonbreun Street from First to Second Avenues
Nashville's News 2 planned to stream the fireworks show live on wkrn.com, WKRN's mobile app and on Comcast Channel 245.
Many Mid-State area including Dickson (within city limits) and Clarksville (within city limits), among others, have issued fireworks bans due to the extremely hot and dry conditions. For a complete list of burn and fireworks bans, click here.
AAA also provided safe rides to those in need during its annual "Tow to Go" program. The free program continues through Saturday.