Summer time, and the enter-tainment’s easyand plentiful. For those of us not heading off to summer camp or touring the castles of Europe, there’s a lot to be done right here in good ole Music City. Whether you’re looking for highbrow or lowbrow, arts, crafts, food, music or just plain fun, you’re sure to find it here. Put on a pair of shorts, grab a lawn chair and a picnic basket, and head off into the haze.
may 26-july 7: Nashville Symphony
The Symphony heads out of doors for its annual series of concerts in Centennial Park and on the grounds at Cheekwood. Kenneth Schermerhorn and Karen Lynne Deal take turns waving the baton. This year’s schedule also includes concerts at other Nashville parks. The park concerts are free; Cheekwood admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children 15 & under. Call 255-5600 for information.
MAY 30-JUNE 2: Summer Lights in Music City Festival
A whole lot of people will converge on downtown for music, theater, dance and food. This year’s performers include CeCe Winans, Chely Wright, O.J. Ekemode, the Delevantes, the Nashville Symphony and others. It’s a good thing. $7 adults, $2 children 7-13, children under 6 free. Call the Summer Lights hotline at 291-4200.
JUNE 10-16: Fan Fair
Paradise foundfor fans of country music, that is. Hordes of the faithful come from every nook and cranny of the earth to see, hear and possibly touch the stars. At the Tennessee State Fairgrounds and Opryland. Call 889-7503.
JUNE 14-16: 26th Annual American Artisan Festival
Sponsored by The American Artisan, this festival brings nationally known craft artists to Centennial Park just in time for some of the best weather of the summer. Call 298-4691.
JUNE 21-23: Bellevue Center Balloon Classic
There are few sights so beautiful as a procession of hot-air balloons drifting gently across the sky at twilight. It’s no surprise, then, that the Balloon Classic is one of Nashville’s favorite events. Come to Edwin Warner Park for the balloon parade, tethered balloon rides, and a Saturday-night concertall benefiting the EAR Foundation at Baptist Hospital. Friday, Saturday morning, & Sunday: $5 adults, $3 children 12 & under; all day Saturday: $10 adults, $3 children 12 & under. Call 254-0575 for information.
JUNE 21-23: Dottie West Music Fest
McMinnville is the place to be during the third annual festival honoring the late country music star. The weekend will include a talent contest, an arts and crafts fair, amusement rides, and concerts by Loretta Lynn, The Kentucky HeadHunters, Three Dog Night, Riders in the Sky, and others.
JULY 4: Independence Day Celebration
Riverfront Park is the place where the patriotic gather for dancing, live music and great fireworks. Or take part in the other great traditionthe hunt for the perfect off-site view of the fireworks. Don’t worry, you can tape the ones they’re showing on TV.
JULY 13: Moon Pie Games
Bell Buckle celebrates Moon Pies and RC Colas, the height of culinary commonness and the stuff that made life in Tennessee what it is today. The celebration includes games, a crafts fair and an exhibition of Tennessee Walking Horses. Call (615) 389-9371.
AUGUST: Shakespeare in the Park
Friends, roamers, Nashvillians, lend us your evening. The Nashville Shakespeare Festival teams up with Mockingbird Public Theatre to present Julius Caesar every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening in August at the Centennial Park Band Shell. Call the Festival office at 292-2273 for more information.
AUG. 2-4: Americana Sampler Craft, Folk Art & Antique Show
The last great crafts fair of the season features 150 exhibitors at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Admission is $5 for the whole weekend. Call 227-2080.
AUG. 3-4: Primus Franklin Jazz Festival
The seventh annual festival offers a range of music from Dixieland to contemporary styles, with some blues thrown in for good measure. And it’s free.
AUG. 30-SEPT. 2: Italian Street Fair
Music, clowns, great food and a lot of neat stuff to buy at Riverfront Park. Benefits the Nashville Symphony. Call 255-5600.
SEPT. 6-15: Tennessee State Fair
Held at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, the fair should be extra special during this Bicentennial year. Call 862-8980.
All summer long: Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society concerts
You can hang out on the beautiful lawns of Cheekwood or at The Hermitage on alternating Sunday evenings from May to August, grooving to sounds from the likes of Som Brasileiro, Reese Wynans & Big Time, and others. Admission is $8 at the gate or through TicketMaster, 737-4849. Children 12 & under admitted free. Season tickets $45. Call 255-9600 for information.
All summer long: matinee
Taking the afternoon off to catch an early movie is an inexpensive (unless you buy refreshments), guilty pleasure.
All summer long: lemonade
A pitcher of lemonade and a hot summer day go together like, well, a pitcher of lemonade and a hot summer day. As the ice-cold, gently sweet liquid glides down your throat, a wave of cool envelops you and the world becomes a better place, at least for a moment. Make a pitcher from scratch, or, better yet, stop and buy some from neighborhood kids.
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