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April 2014
Nashville, Tennessee

Painted TrilliumApril 17, 2014: The 64th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is being held now (April 15-19). If you enjoy the outdoors, spectacular hiking vistas, a diverse display of amazing flora, and knowledgeable leaders, this is your event.

March 17, 2014: It's a cold and shivering Monday here in Nashville, but it's far from gray. Green is the mood as Music City celebrates St. Patrick's Day.

March 3, 2014: Ice on the roads and bone-chilling cold have cleared the streets here in Nashville. Winter is holding on even as the first green shoots are popping out of the ground.

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February 28, 2014: Although we've had a regression the last few days to bracingly frigid temperatures, the days are getting longer and sunnier and the small yellow blooms of winter jasmine are beginning to show up around town, including along the edges of Lake Watauga in Centennial Park. Watauga (really a city pond and not anything approaching a "lake") is in the first stages of a major overhaul. It is being drained in preparation for structural improvements that will result in better water quality and less green scum. This little urban water spot is an oasis for waterfowl, including various migrants in the fall and spring. Mallards and Canada Geese hatch their young on the two tiny islands in Lake Watauga. But probably not this year. The way things are shaping up the lake will be dry during the breeding months of March and April and perhaps even beyond that.

January 7, 2014: Dang, it's cold here in Nashville. That polar vortex the weather people are going on about has reached its Arctic twirl down into Music City and it's colder than it's been in 20 years. But the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and there's hope. We're going from 4 degrees F all the way up to a balmy 18 degrees this afternoon. And by the weekend, we'll back to the territory we love—low sixties and mild.

December 16, 2013: Grand Ole Opry performances are at the Mother Church of Country Music—the Ryman Auditorium—now through the end of January. The acoustics at the Ryman are exceptionally good and it's a relatively small venue so the performances are more intimate and "up-close." If you have a chance to take in the Opry during this season, don't miss it.

October 11, 2013: Nashville's Farmers Market will host its final Night Market of the year on Friday, Oct. 18 with a Pumpkin Festival. Enjoy the evening's casual and colorful festivities while shopping for delicious local produce.

September 22, 2013: It's the first day of fall and the loveliest season of the year for Nashville, some would say, is beginning now. If you're looking for an excuse to get out and enjoy the mellow days and mild nights of autumn, check out Percy Warner's Fall Schedule of Events. You can join in everything from wildflower hikes to owl prowls and scavenger hunts.

August 11, 2013: CMA Music Festival 2014 hotel/ticket packages will be unveiled tomorrow here on BlueShoe Nashville. Downtown hotels featured include the 5-star Hermitage Hotel, the Courtyard Marriott, the Hampton Inn, and the new Omni. Midtown properties include the 4-star Hutton Hotel and the Guesthouse Inn Vanderbilt. A range of premium level seating and Gold Circle will be available.

July 1, 2013: Nashville's big fireworks display will cap off a full afternoon and evening of live music and special events on Thursday, July 4 at Riverfront Park. Featured artists include The Band Perry and Keb' Mo'. See the full schedule of events here: Nashville July 4th.

June 10, 2013: Another great CMA Music Festival has come to an end. The only disappointment was an abbreviated final concert Sunday night at LP Field due to storm warnings. We were left with a lingering sense that we just didn't get enough of Jake Owen (who was restricted to just one song), Brad Paisley, and The Band Perry. Talk about leaving us wanting more . . .

June 6, 2013: It's the opening day of the CMA Music Festival 2013. If you're looking for a hotel room that is close to the action, we have had a couple of last-minute cancellations for a midtown hotel that is only 15 blocks (1.25 miles) from the Festival venues. Please call BlueShoe at 615-383-3012 for details.

May 23, 2013: Musician's Corner, the annual free music series in Centennial Park continues this Sat., May 25, with live music from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

April 6, 2013: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host its 63rd annual Wildflower Pilgrimage April 23 - 27. Professional and amateur botanists come together for hikes and lectures celebrating the diverse and beautiful flora of this ancient mountain range.

Mar. 30, 2013: A varied and lovely array of wildflowers has begun its display in Tennessee. See BlueShoe's Guide to 2013 Wildflower Hikes and Festivals to catch the blooms in person.

Mar. 20, 2013: It's the first day of spring and Percy Warner Parks has announced a full schedule of events to celebrate getting outdoors and shaking off the winter doldrums. Wildflower hikes, mountain biking, a canoeing and kayaking outing, bird walks, and more are among the activities you can enjoy. See the complete Spring 2013 schedule.

Feb. 14, 2013: Poet Tracy K. Smith will read from her work tonight at Sarratt Center on the Vanderbilt campus. Smith won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for her collection, Life on Mars. The reading begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Jan. 1, 2013: Nashville rings in the new year with a Vanderbilt victory at the 2012 Music City Bowl. Way to go, Commodores!

Dec. 6, 2012: The 60th Annual Christmas Parade is tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. The Mayor's Tree Lighting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 1, 2012: The CMA Awards Show broadcasts live from Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville this evening, 7 Central.

Oct. 31, 2012: It's a beautiful Halloween Day in Music City— clear, sunny, and crisp. Stay tune for a frighteningly wonderful unveiling of CMA Music Festival 2013 Gold Circle packages at our newest hotel partner, the Four-Star Hutton Hotel in midtown.

Oct. 19, 2012: It's the last Night Market of the year at the Farmer's Market this evening, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Ridgetop Rambers and Rachel Rodriguez Band will warm the air with live music and there'll be "adult beverages" for additional heat. Shop, sip, and sample the best of what local farmers, bakers, and vintners have to offer. The Farmers' Market is located at 900 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. Parking is free.

Sept. 17, 2012: It's Country's Night to Rock. Don't miss ABC's 3-hour special on the 2012 CMA Music Festival tonight. Begins at 8 ET (7 Central).

Sept. 10, 2012: BlueShoe's 5-night packages for the CMA Music Festival 2013 will go on sale Sept. 15. Featured packages include Section 134 Row A, B, & C seats at the 5-Star Hermitage Hotel downtown, original Gold Circle (within the first 22 rows) packages at the Hermitage, Gold Circle at the Courtyard Marriott downtown, and splendid Premium packages at the downtown Hampton, the midtown Hilton Garden Inn Vanderbilt, and the Guesthouse Inn Vanderbilt.

August 16, 2012: it's opening night for Nashville Shakespeare in the Park's production of Much Ado About Nothing. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Park Bandshell. Preshow entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m.

July 6, 2012: Now showing at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, "Creation Story: Gee's Bend Quits and the Art of Thornton Dial."

June 6, 2012: If you love country music, beginning today there's only one place in the world to be—right here in Nashville for the CMA Music Festival.

June 2, 2012: Tour de Fat, a bicycle parade and festival, happens today in Centennial Park. Sponsored by New Belgium Brewing (makers of Fat Tire Beer), the parade begins at 10 a.m. and is followed by a host of events including free live music.

May 2, 2012: It's early May and that means the white tents are once again being set up in Centennial Park for one of Nashville's most popular festivals. Tennessee Arts and Crafts Festival, or TACA for short, begins Friday, May 4 and runs through Sunday, May 6. Original handmade crafts, jewelry, clothes, hand-thrown pottery, furniture, and even musical instruments are on display and for sale. An array of food booths, activities for children, and interesting artisans make this an event not to be missed. The blue and white oak/hickory chair at the left is by master furniture-maker Tim Hintz of Smithville, Tennessee.

March 29, 2012: Yesterday, Earl Scruggs passed away here in Nashville at the age of 88. His accomplishments as one of the genuises of 20th century American music have long been recognized. Outside the Ryman Auditorium a historic marker cites Scruggs by name in commemoration of the birth of Bluegrass:

During the 1920's, 30's and 40's, Bill Monroe, universally recognized as the Father of Bluegrass, pioneered a new kind of music by taking Appalachian mountain music – or Old Time music – and infusing it with aspects of many other types, including blues, gospel, and jazz. Much of this creative process took place at the Ryman where he starred as a regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry. Most Bluegrass historians agree that the final ingredient to this new form of music was added on a Saturday Night in 1945. That night, a young man named Earl Scruggs joined Monroe and his band – including guitarist Lester Flatt – on the Ryman stage. When Scruggs stepped up to the WSM microphone and played his 5 string banjo with his innovative three finger roll, Bluegrass music as we know it today was born. It is this seminal event that the historical marker commemorates.

March 21, 2012: Tin Pan South, sponsored by the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), is scheduled for March 27 – 31 at various Nashville music venues. Known as the world's largest all-songwriter festival, the gathering of songwriters and music fans will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.

January 2, 2012: One of Nashville's all-time favorite athletes, Eddie George, will be returning to the public arena this month in a new role. He'll be playing Julius Caesar, in the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's winter production, Jan. 12-29.

December 2, 2011: Vince Gill will serve as the Grand Marshal of Nashville's 59th Annual Christmas Parade tonight. The event is expected to be the biggest yet, with more than 80 floats, marching bands, and performing groups. At 6:30 p.m., a tree-lighting ceremony will held at Public Square Park (1 Public Square). The parade will begin at 7 p.m. at LP Field, crossing the Woodland Street Bridge, and going west down Second Avenue and continuing up Broadway to Seventh Avenue. Prime parade watching area is along Second Avenue and Broadway.

November 1, 2011: Crisp, lovely weather makes this an inviting time for observing the night sky. A Fall Star Party is scheduled for this Saturday, Nov. 5 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Special Events Field in Edwin Warner Park. Local astronomers will be on hand with telescopes. Please call the Warner Park Nature Center to register for this stellar happening: 615-352-6299. Free and open to the public.

October 29, 2011: Halloween weekend is shaping up to be a good time to take in the Farmers' Market, a Titans' home football game, and a host of delightfully spooky events, including ghost tours, corn mazes, haunted houses, and a special muscial treat on Halloween night by the Nashville Symphony featuring the 1925 silent movie classic, Phantom of the Opera with organist Tom Trenney.

October 14, 2011: Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word begins today and runs through Sunday at the War Memorial Plaza and Tennessee Capitol. It's free and opened to the public. Schedule of readings and events can be seen here.

October 12, 2011: The 10th Annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards ceremony will be presented live at the Ryman Auditorium Thurs., Oct 13 at 7 p.m.

October 8, 2011: In the last week, Nashville (particularly the West End area around Centennial Park), has been the site of two activist gatherings. The first happened last Sunday with SlutWalk Nashville, a local version of an international movement dedicated to spreading the word that those who experience sexual assault are not at fault, without exception. The second was a populist rally on Oct. 6 by the Nashville arm of Occupy Wall Street and a General Assembly meeting by the same group today. Occupy Nashville voted to begin an occupation of Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville Saturday evening around 6 p.m.

October 5, 2011: Steve Jobs, 1955–2011.

October 3, 2011: It's autumn and the weather in Nashville is just about perfect. Blue skies, sunshine, and crisp (but not cold) temperatures offer an apt reminder that Oktoberfest and Germantown Street Festival are approaching. Both events are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 8 in Nashville's Germantown.

September 23, 2011: Tennessee Arts and Crafts (TACA) 33nd Annual Fall Festival begins today in Centennial Park and runs through Sunday. Don't let the rainy day weather discourage you from getting out to this popular Nashville event. The forecast is for an absolutely lovely day tomorrow with a high of 76º F and only a 20% chance of precipitation. There'll be more than 200 artisans from across the country presenting their crafts, special hands-on activities for children, and skewers of delicious food. Admission is free, as is parking. Fri. & Sat. hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. , Sun. hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adding to the festivities on Saturday, the weekly Musicians Corner in Centennial Park will provide a free concert 3 to 6 p.m.

September 13, 2011: CMA Awards Show hotel/ticket packages for the Nov. 9, 2011 show in Bridgestone Arena are now available.

September 11, 2011: Ten years ago tomorrow, on Sept. 12, 2001, Nashvillians came together in Centennial Park to hold a candlelight vigil in honor of those lost in the attacks on 9/11.

September 1, 2011: Big tents are being pitched in Bicentennial Capitol Mall in preparation for the National Folk Festival Sept. 2 - 4. A large-scale outdoor event presented free to the public, the National Folk Festival features an array of music and dance performances, workshops, children's activities, regional and ethnic foods, storytelling, parades, craft exhibits, and demonstrations. The three-day September event marks the first year of a three-year tenure of the Folk Festival in Nashville (it will return in 2012 and 2013).

August 29, 2011: After a summer break that began on July 2, Musicians Corner in Centennial Park returns for its fall season with a live concert this Saturday, Sept. 3 from 3 to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The concerts will continue every Saturday through Nov. 5.

August 9, 2011: Ah, wondrous jet stream that has brought Nashville a break in the weather. It's cooler, drier, and the sun is shining. August has turned suddenly beautiful, just in time for the annual Tomato Art Festival (coming up on Saturday, Aug. 13).

 

 

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batman buildingFeatured photo: The Bellsouth "Batman Building," one of the landmarks in downtown Nashville, overlooks the old brick storefronts of Lower Broad--a row of cowboy apparel stores and honky-tonks such as Tootsie's Orchid Lounge.




 


Cheryl Hiers: Blueshoe NashvilleBlueShoe: What's in our name?

Editor: Cheryl Hiers

BlueShoe Nashville Travel Guide is located in Nashville, Tennessee.
Copyright ©2011, Cheryl Hiers.

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For country music lovers . . .

there is only one place in the world to be
June 5-8, 2014

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Smoky Mountains Wildflowers

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Tennessee Wildflowers See the latest photos from TN wildflower hikes.

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Street View Virtual Tour of Nashville

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