Bars closed, few tourists downtown in Music City for holiday weekend

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Music City looks and feels much different this holiday weekend, with bars closed and fireworks canceled.

While the streets would typically be filled with laughter, some are shedding tears.

“When I walked down this strip I just started crying ‘cause I was like gah just everything closed,” Brittany Scott who was visiting from Detroit told News 2.

Closed signs are posted on many of the businesses downtown, with only a handful of others open.

“It hurts. You know, the servers they are all hurting. It’s terrible,” Scott cried.

Other tourists say they aren’t letting the closed businesses ruin their celebration.

“It’s Music City, so we come for the festivities and the fireworks show, one of the largest in the nation,” said Ted Speck who is visiting with a group of pals from Florida.

It’s our fireworks show that draws his group along with international travelers every year. A record 343,000 people attended in 2019, according to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. They say Music City’s Let Freedom Sing! set records across the board last year with $14.2 million in direct visitor spending and more than 26,000 hotel rooms sold on July 4.

This year, there won’t be a fireworks show and with bars closed there aren’t many options downtown as far as entertainment. Open venues were restricted and masks mandated, although only a percentage of those downtown followed the order.

It was a concerning sign for visitors that take the virus seriously. 

“Twenty-five percent have masks on. What part of this pandemic do they not understand? That’s what gets me,” Bob Fairweather who was visiting from New York explained to News 2.

He and his girlfriend came prepared, with plans to see fireworks at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch.

“We managed to get our hands on some 3M 95’s with exhaust valves. Then we are going to wear another mask on top of them and then we bought safety glasses you know that wrap around and then we are going to wear our hats and gloves. We have everything short of a hazmat suit,” Cindy Trimble laughed.

Although she is laughing now, Trimble hopes everyone else will take precautions this holiday weekend.

“We will just say our prayers that this will be gone and we will have a vaccination and this will be a thing in our rearview mirrors,” said Trimble.

Bars were given less than a 24 hours notice that they had to shut down July 3 for at least two weeks, as Nashville reverts back to a modified version of phase 2.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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