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Posted on 12.16.2010

Playing Tourist in My Hometown: An Expert’s Invitation to Nashville

I love to play tourist in my hometown of Nashville, and downtown was really hopping last week before a Tennessee Titans game. It’s always full of energy and offers great people watching when the Titans or Nashville Predators, our NHL Hockey team, are playing at home. I know some locals flee or avoid the area during big events but, even if you’re not going to the game, it’s great to see downtown full of people and enthusiasm. A host of big events are scheduled in our great downtown in the last week of December, including the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. It’ll be a great time for both Nashvillians and our guests from other cities to head downtown, support local businesses and hear great music. Why should Volunteers and Tar Heels have all the fun?
  • The Nashville Predators will play the Dallas Stars at home in the Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 28, with players from both of the Music City Bowl teams in attendance.
  • On Wednesday, MusicFest and Battle of the Bands will bring thousands of people to the corner of Second and Broadway to hear the Music City Bowl’s university bands face off following a free concert by the band Little Texas. There will be plenty of live music in downtown venues after that, most notably at the arena where the Zac Brown Band will play.
  • Thursday’s game day! Yes, the game is sold out, but that needn’t stop you from taking in the atmosphere and catching the game at your favorite downtown establishment.
  • Friday is New Year’s Eve. One of my personal favorites, Old Crow Medicine Show, will repeat its incredible NYE concert at the historic Ryman Auditorium, also a sell-out for the second consecutive year. A few blocks away, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center will celebrate its reopening eight months after massive flooding caused nearly $40 million in damages with a NYE concert featuring violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and the Nashville Symphony. And if you didn’t score tickets for either of those events, you can ring in 2011 with Phil Vassar and other artists at Music City’s Bash on Broadway.
  • Shake off the excesses of the season and kick off your new year right on Saturday, Jan. 1, with the 2011 Resolution Run 5K Run, Walk or Roll, which takes a great scenic route around downtown, and has a thoughtful 10 a.m. start time.
The past year’s been tough on downtown Nashville, which not only dealt with May’s historic flooding but also endured the impact of four water main breaks on Jan. 9, 2010, that closed many downtown businesses. The extensive water line replacement project that followed continues even now. So consider a great time here in our hometown of Nashville, where I can promise a satisfying adventure, or explore the opportunities to be a tourist in your own hometown and share them with us.

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