Food, Fun, Family and Friends …Finally! Hello Labor Day Weekend

“Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.”

Many of us are looking forward to Labor Day because it gives us 3 days to spend with family, friends and loved ones and do whatever we want to celebrate the end of the summer and the beginning of fall. Some of us head out of town, others head to the lake. Many of us will grill out or go out to eat, while others will stay home and catch up on Netflix, reading, facebook, or just sleep late and do absolutely nothing.

Personally all of the above sounds good to me. For those of you who live in the Middle Tennessee area and have not made plans, I would like to highlight some happenings on the Riverfront in Downtown Nashville. This gives me the opportunity to share some pictures I have taken recently of one of my favorite places in the world; my hometown.

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Downtown Nashville will be jumping this 3 day weekend. If you haven’t been to the Riverfront lately and would like to join in the festivities, I have listed some fun events below.

 

The Merritt Classic Weekend                                                                                  September 4-6 at Nissan Stadium

IMG_5940 **This is a picture I took of the Nissan Stadium at sunrise.**

This 3 day event offers a little bit of everything for everyone and sounds like a lot of fun. It winds down on Sunday with the TSU Tigers taking on the Alabama State University Hornets. I would like to go just to see the Halftime Performance by the one and only TSU Aristocrat of Bands!  Activities start today! (Friday)

For more information on this 3 day event, visit this link at http://www.visitmusiccity.com/Visitors/thingstodo/johnmerrittclassic

471A0624_1 **It is such a treat to watch the General Jackson come down the Cumberland River, stop in front of the Nissan Stadium and turn around to head the other way. It is especially beautiful at night.**

471A0475**In this picture I captured a barge slowly meandering past the Nissan stadium at sunset.**

Speaking of football, our own Tennessee Volunteers will open their season at the Nissan Stadium this Saturday, September 5, taking on the Bowling Green Falcons at 3:00. Some tickets are still available at this link-                                                                             http://www.nashvillesports.com/vols

IMG_7124**I love this picture because the Music City Star was pulling out of the Riverfront Train Depot and had slowed down enough for me to get a shot. I wasn’t expecting to see the train. One of these days I want to ride in it.**

Nashville’s First Saturday Art Crawl will be on September 5. “The first Saturday of every month, from 6pm to 9pm, art galleries around Nashville offer free admission to view their latest exhibits. Over 20 art venues participate, presenting local and world-renowned artists and artwork, offering the opportunity to meet and discuss art with like-minded individuals.”

IMG_7095**Speaking of art, this is our own ‘Ghost Ballet’ which sits on the riverbank across from Riverfront Park. “The trusses and crane base show the past industrial use of the area, while the circular and changing motion represents the transformation of the area.”**

For more information on this event, visit http://www.visitmusiccity.com/Visitors/thingstodo/saturdayartcrawl

The band Widespread Panic will be at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater on September 5 and 6 at 7:00 P.M. Nashville’s new amphitheater seats 6,800.

IMG_7129**I was on the Pedestrian Bridge when I took this picture one early evening while a concert was going on.**

For more information on this concert and many other upcoming concerts visit http://www.visitmusiccity.com/Visitors/thingstodo/ascendamphitheater

The General Jackson will be cruising the Cumberland this weekend and it is definitely a sight to see!

471A0565**This is one of my favorite pictures I have taken of the General Jackson because of the way the surrounding lights look like they are framing the showboat.**

I love seeing the people on the beautiful showboat as it comes into downtown. I am sure it is more fun being a passenger as you roll down the river.

471A0612**The General Jackson turns around right in front of the stadium, so it was fun watching this maneuver.**

For more information on the weekend cruises, and cruises in general, visit http://generaljackson.com/experience

I love to kayak, but did not know you could kayak the Cumberland River until I was downtown one day taking pictures and saw it. This would definitely be fun..

IMG_7763**I was able to get a shot of people kayaking down the Cumberland. They paddled up to the Riverfront and got out**

Check out Nashville’s first and only kayak rental and tour company, River Queen Voyages. If you want to experience the Cumberland River up close, visit their website at http://rqvoyages.com/

Okay, now for the fun activities that won’t cost you anything except maybe to park. Because of football games at Nissan Stadium on Saturday and Sunday, you might be out of luck finding a parking spot. I would wait until Monday to head downtown where it might be less crowded, more parking spaces and no stadium game. September 7 will be the better day.

If you have not been to Nashville’s Cumberland Park, you need to go.

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Not only is there an area for live music, but there are water features, a play space, areas to ride bikes and walk dogs and so much more! And it is free!

471A0245**The views are pretty no matter which way you look.**

IMG_7095**The Ghost Ballet has a whole different look during the day than at night.**

471A0251_1**This is the view across the river from the Cumberland Park.**

For more information on Nashville’s Cumberland Park, visit this link https://www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Parks/Cumberland-Park.aspx

One of my favorite free things to do in downtown Nashville is walk across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. The views of downtown are just gorgeous!

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Whether you visit during the day when the sun is bright and reflecting off the Batman Building and the Pinnacle Building, or at night when the lights come on and reflect off of the river, you will not be disappointed!

IMG_5596**I love watching for the barges and personal boats coming down the river.**

IMG_7442**You never know what you will see docking at the Riverfront.**

**It is also fun to people watch while on the bridge**

IMG_5651** This picture was taken at sunset.**

IMG_7424**This picture was taken at sunrise.**

To learn more about the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, visit http://www.nashvilledowntown.com/go/shelby-street-pedestrian-bridge

Once you cross the bridge, head to Riverfront Park and check out the train depot.

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“The site of the current station was originally home to a train depot built around 1902. The depot included a passenger station for the Tennessee Central Railway as well as several tracks used for freight service. Passenger service at the original station ended in 1955. Site excavation for the new station began in 2004, but was delayed for several months due to the discovery of historic artifacts at the site, including the remains of a foundry. Construction of the new station began in August 2005. The design of the new station, which features post and beam architecture, was intended to evoke the feel of an Old World train station. Service at the station began on September 18, 2006.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville_Riverfront_(Music_City_Star_station)

And last but not least, you have to walk down to the Riverfront Park.

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On this particular day I saw Metro’s finest escorting a boat toward the dock.

Another morning I watched the sun rise and it was a beautiful sight!

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If you don’t want to get up that early, check out the glow of the river from the sun setting.

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The Downtown Nashville Riverfront is a must see- whether you are visiting the area, or even if you live here. Take an afternoon or an evening this weekend or any weekend and head to the Riverfront and see what everyone is talking about!

“It’s the warmest, loveliest community I’ve ever set foot in. For me, it’s the perfect place to live. It’s the best part of America.”
Nicole Kidman

For more information on what is going on in our fabulous city this Labor Day weekend, visit http://www.visitmusiccity.com/visitors/thingstodo/laborday#family

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Whatever you decide to do, I want you to know your hard work is what makes our nation the best, so you deserve to take this time to rest!

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
  • Have a fabulous Labor Day weekend!
  • **All photos in Focused On Nashville are taken by Terri Watson.

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-