When The Lights Come On In The City

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Can Nashville, Tennessee shine anymore than it already does? Why yes, yes it can!

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After many weeks of work, one of our bridges in downtown Nashville now has a new LED system. The Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge is now outfitted with more than 685 light fixtures that can change to a rainbow of 256 colors.

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“The innovative design and construction of this bridge has made it one of the most iconic structures in our city,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “This new lighting system beautifully illuminates the bridge’s arch and cables and does so in a way that is energy efficient.”

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The night I was downtown, not only did I get to see the bridge change several colors, but I got to see The General Jackson pass under the bridge while it was changing colors! Talking about a “wow” moment!

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By the way, these lights will not be changing colors every night, but will be showcased during holidays, festivals and events!

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I wonder if the lights will change colors during concerts at the Ascend Amphitheater?

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“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day”. ~Vincent Van Gogh…

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In this instance, I think Vincent Van Gogh was right!

Until next time-

  • I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
    while focused on Nashville and the great state of Tennessee!
    My best to you,
    Terri

    *All photos in my blog, ‘Focused On Nashville’ are images I have taken. I hope you like them!

Nashville’s Riverfront After Dark…My View on The Cumberland River

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Nashville’s Riverfront has definitely changed since I was a kid growing up here. I don’t get a chance too often to head downtown but this summer our family thought we would check out the Riverfront since we haven’t been in awhile. Since I enjoy taking pictures I try to get around Nashville when I can to showcase our beautiful city and I have to tell you that if you haven’t been to Nashville’s Riverfront Park or walked across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, you need to go! If you are not able to make it downtown anytime soon, or you don’t live close to Nashville, I hope my point of view depicts how beautiful Nashville’s Riverfront is.

Formerly known as the Shelby Street Bridge, the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world at 3,150 feet.

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The bridge is beautifully lit at night and is a sight to see- whether you are standing on it or gazing at it from the riverbank.

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I always feel like a kid as I am crossing this bridge because of how big it is and how small I feel as I reach the middle and look down at the river. The middle of the bridge has a walk out platform where you can hear and see so many activities below you. You can hear music playing from the honky-tonks on Broadway. You can watch the sunset. You can see tourists and locals alike taking pictures and selfies. You have a perfect view of the Tennessee Titans stadium that  looks massive with all the lights on!  And if you are lucky, you will catch the General Jackson Showboat as it makes its way into downtown on the Cumberland River!

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The General Jackson has a capacity of 1200 guests and 157 crew members and is 274 feet long. It was built and launched in 1985 and is named after Andrew Jackson. It was built to recreate the showboats of the 19th century. The showboat offers lunch and dinner shows. My husband and I took his Mom many years ago and we all really enjoyed seeing Nashville on the Cumberland River via the General Jackson as we dined.

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I snapped this picture of the Captain turning the General Jackson around before heading to the downtown riverfront and it was fun watching him maneuver it so carefully and professionally.

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The few times I have been on the Bridge it was also fun people watching on the bridge itself – some briskly walking as they headed downtown to the restaurants, others jogging across the bridge to get Cumberland Park, while others were slowly meandering across the bridge and at times pausing to watch the night lights come on in the city There were families on bikes peddling to the other side, or just those who are sitting and enjoying the view.

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At times I didn’t know which was more enjoyable- people watching, looking toward Riverfront Park as the sun was setting, or watching for boats to come down the river and head under the bridges so we could wave at them! (I told you I felt like a kid again!)

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Did you know 3 music videos were made on this bridge? Probably the most famous one is the Big and Rich video, “Save A Horse, Ride a Cowboy” with the Batman Building prominently showcased in the background.

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As you stand on this bridge, you also have a beautiful view of all the new high-rises , the historic buildings, the downtown office buildings and boutique hotels that are close to the riverfront.

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See the red triangle in the distance? That is the top of the Adventure Science Center. The dome changes colors at night.

I have to share pictures with you of the new Ascend Amphitheater that is almost completed.

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Did you know the squiggly sculpture on the right is called the Light Meander? It is 45 feet high, made of stainless steel, guitar picks and LED lights. The shape of the Light Meander is meant to emulate the shape of the Cumberland River as it flows through Davidson County. The lights will showcase the different colors you might see of the river during the day. I would love to see a concert at this venue! Do you have your tickets yet?

Another interesting site you can see is the the top of the Country Music Hall of Fame which is 10 blocks away.Did you know the diamond shaped radio tower is a miniature version of the WSM tower a few miles south of Nashville ?

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Finally, as pretty as the view of downtown Nashville is from the Bridge, the view is also spectacular from Cumberland Park. Cumberland Park is located between the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge. It is a 6.5 acre park that offers a play area for children, an outdoor theater, trails and water features.

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There is a walkway that takes you out over the river. In the picture above I am shooting toward the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge.

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It gives you a different perspective of the Riverfront.

If you cross under the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge you will see this enormous bright red sculpture. It is called Ghost Ballet.

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This 100 x 100 x 60 foot sculpture was installed on the riverfront in 2007. “The artwork references the site’s industrial past and visually echoes current surroundings, including nearby bridges and the NFL Titans stadium. Its dynamic form conveys a sense of the area’s evolution from an industrial working river to recreation and entertainment.”

It will definitely create a conversation!

I hope you have enjoyed my view on the Cumberland River. Perhaps you would like to check it out yourself. Day or night, it will be a beautiful sight.

Until next time-

Small Town Lights Up Big Time!

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The 4th of July in Nashville, Tennessee was set to be one of the biggest nights of the year! Not only were we expecting one of the largest crowds ever to gather downtown for the celebration, but we were to feature more fireworks than any other display in the nation!

On July 4th it was raining in Nashville and all of Middle Tennessee. Not just a little, but a lot! All day it was raining on and off.  We had our fingers crossed, hoping for a break in the weather on Saturday evening so that fireworks would go on as planned in several different areas of town. Mother Nature was not listening, so a few of the events were rescheduled for the following evening. Downtown Nashville did proceed with their celebration on July 4th but we were not able to attend. More than 150,000 enjoyed the show.

The next day the skies eventually cleared and the sun came out! Although July 5th evening was muggy, it was dry so we decided to head out to the lovely town of Nolensville, Tennessee to catch their rescheduled fireworks show. Nolensville is a charming town about 20 miles south of Nashville. It is growing more every day but still has the friendly, down home feel. You can learn more about Nolensville by clicking on these links;

http://www.nolensvilletn.gov/content/community/visitors.html

http://www.nolensvillehomepage.com/

We found a spot at a quaint church right in the middle of town and settled in. IMG_4590

Since we have never been to Nolensville to watch the fireworks, we were not sure which part of the sky to watch. An older couple came and set up their belongings close by but they sat with their backs to us. Did they know something we didn’t know? Well, yes they did because once the lights were turned off in the park and the show started, and we were facing the wrong way!

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I quickly got my camera turned around and caught some beautiful images I wanted to share with you. This was my first time photographing fireworks and wasn’t sure how the images would turn out, but I enjoyed it.

As we were all looking to the sky I wish I had the chance to capture some of the children’s faces as they were watching in awe.

 

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I will have to say there was a surround sound of oohs and aahhs for the next several minutes from young and old alike.

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There is nothing more precious than hearing a small child turn to their father and say, “Now these are some fireworks, Daddy!”

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I myself was focused as well on the beautiful colors dancing together up above.

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If you were close enough, you were able to hear a few gasps from me as I took in the bright lights that lit up the southern, dark sky. I don’t care how old you are, when you are watching the sky burst into color and hearing the booms and the bangs, you are a kid again and loving every minute of it.

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The spectacular show ended too soon, but we all definitely left with a smile on our face.

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Nolensville, you did a bang up job!

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Next year, we hope to be back to watch this fabulous show again. But next time I will know where to sit and which direction to face. I will also remember to bring the bug spray.

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Until next time-

  • I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
    while focused on Nashville (and Nolensville) and the great state of Tennessee!
    My best to you,
    Terri