NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville is preparing for the largest Fourth of July celebration in the country, with an estimated 400,000 people expected to attend the city’s “Let Freedom Sing” celebration.
The event will feature headliner Brad Paisley, the Nashville Symphony, and the largest fireworks show in the nation. Let Freedom Sing will be the first big event Nashville has hosted since the pandemic.
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“We’re expecting a busy crowd here this weekend, everyone from around the country has been talking about Nashville,” Cerveza Jack’s bartender Carone Tharpe said. “Coworkers and everyone alike are so excited because last year we all were home, cooped up, cabin fever style. And now everyone’s here to let loose, have fun, and especially staff [are] ready to make some real money.”
Let Freedom Sing will be the largest event Nashville has seen since the 2019 NFL draft and is expected to exceed 2019’s Fourth of July crowd by 60,000 people.
“You’re just sitting there like this is so awesome to see people, talk to them,” said Jamie Balentine who was visiting from Iowa. “We went on a tour bus today and talked to people and I’m looking around thinking this just feels good.”
With record-breaking crowds, bars and businesses are fully staffed, ready to welcome customers.
“Back of the house to the front of the house, door guy, everyone, we’re staffing up from top to bottom,” Tharpe said. “I’ll probably work about 40 to 50 easily, I’m knocking on 60 hours this week.”
The city is preparing with more than 1,000 officers and security guards working over the holiday weekend. In addition, the city will also implement rolling road closures.
“If you’re coming down, come down early, plan where you’re going to park at ahead of time. At a certain point in the night the traffic will become unmanageable and we will stop letting additional traffic come into downtown,” said Captain David Leavitt with MNPD Special Events Unit.
With so many officers within an arm’s length, police are sending a stern warning to partygoers.
“Control yourself, control your behavior, control your drinking. We are not going to tolerate any disorderly conduct, any fighting,” Captain Leavitt said. “This is a family event, we want everybody to come down and be safe.”
Travelers said they’re glad to see things returning to normal this Fourth of July.
“I think it’s great. I mean I think everybody’s ready to get back out, enjoy it and what better time than Fourth of July,” said Rob Balentine who was visiting from Iowa.
For locals, it means Music City actually feeling like Music City.
“I think everyone’s excited that we actually a Fourth of July this year, so we’re looking forward to a good time,” Tharpe said.
If you plan on going downtown, things like big bags and coolers will not be permitted. Everyone attending should be prepared to have their items searched.