NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As things wind down after a packed Fourth of July weekend in Music City, Let Freedom Sing! brought record crowds and a major boost to the Nashville economy.
Locals said the crowds were a welcomed sight following a year of restrictions due to the pandemic.
“It’s very energizing; it’s very fun. People are moving freely from place to place,” Nashville resident Jeff Fenter said. “It’s been a difficult year for a lot of places in our country, especially Nashville and the industry in which it stands for. So it’s wonderful to see it really become such a vibrant place again.”
Tourists were eager to do their part in helping Nashville’s economy get back on track, too.
“This is the place to be this weekend; 400,000 people, the biggest fireworks show in the country. I’m here!” said John Dunn who was visiting from Cincinnati.
The Nashville economy has been met with many recent hurdles, including the March tornado, downtown Christmas Day bombing and the pandemic.
“We opened up almost a year ago today, so it has been unprecedented challenges. I’ve spent 10 years in the hospitality business; I’ve never seen anything like it,” Kevin McDevitt, General Manager of The Whiskey Shot said.
Businesses like The Whiskey Shot said they expected to see at least double the revenue over the Fourth of July weekend compared to this time last year.
“It’s night and day,” McDevitt said. “It’s I guess 100% better because literally, that early July was during one of the bar shutdowns, so our doors were literally closed.”
He added that business has picked up since mid-March and he didn’t expect to see crowds the Fourth of July brought until closer to 2022. Locals have also played a big part in keeping the entertainment and hospitality industries going in Music City.
“We are happy to be open, and business is great,” McDevitt said. “We appreciate the support from everybody coming to town. Keep coming to Nashville, Music City!”
Those who attended Nashville’s Fourth of July festivities said the celebration did not disappoint.
“It’s huge. It’s our anniversary of our freedom, all the men and women that came before us to fight for our freedom. For us to be out spending money and get the economy rolling again, I mean there’s nothing better we could do,” Dunn said.
As the weekend concluded, Governor Bill Lee and Brad Paisley announced a new incentive for visitors to return to Music City. The “Tennessee on Me” campaign will offer visitors who book a two-night stay in Nashville free airfare. You can learn more about the promotion here.