America—fuck yeah! Since the Fourth falls on a Friday this year, we won't be in the office. Instead, we'll be frying up tofu dogs and sipping imported beers on the patios of our high-rise condos while baking in our skinny jeans and listening to the weakest, trendiest bands Nashville has to offer. No really, there's so much more to us here at the Cream than that Hillbilly Casino thread would suggest. For instance, we sometimes actually review bands negatively.
But really, we'll be looking for the best way to spend a holiday in a country we've got so many mixed feelings about. That's right, instead of simple patriotic fare, we offer you a handful of events that will give you a real mishmash of American pie: gluttony, sunshine, escapism, exercise, communist leanings and how to avoid buying gas on your way to go watch shit get blown up downtown.
From Our Critics' Picks:
The Nightlife Aquatic
DIVE-IN MOVIES: INDEPENDENCE DAY You can swim and watch a movie? Throw in a rubdown from Isabelle Huppert and an IBC Root Beer, and my requirements for heaven are officially met. Every Friday through July 25, Nashville Shores projects a family blockbuster from summers past on a large inflatable screen at the lip of the park’s Lagoon Pool. In honor of our nation’s founding, tread water or chill in a float as Will Smith saves the world from interstellar squid in Independence Day, as pivotal to any Fourth of July festivities as It’s a Wonderful Life is to Christmas or Groundhog’s Day is to Groundhog’s Day. And while you’re there, check out the Music City Racer, 350 gnarly feet of widow-makin’ water-slide action. The movies begin at dusk, and park admission is $11.95 after 3 p.m. Upcoming films include Shrek the Third (July 11), Transformers (July 18) and Surf’s Up (July 25). Visit nashvilleshores.com for coupon offers. Approximately 8:30 p.m. at Nashville Shores —JIM RIDLEY
MUSIC CITY HOT CHICKEN FESTIVAL If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the chicken. But if you like your fowl fiery, brace yourself for the second annual amateur hot chicken fry-off, when Poultry in Motion takes the deep-fryer against Compton’s Cluckers, Hermitage Heat and three other wannabes. Hot chicken professionals from 400˚, Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish, Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and The Chicken Shack will offer their wares for free to the first 500 people. Slow birds can by their own from those vendors and others. The fledgling family-friendly event—destined to become a landmark culinary festival—will include music, inflatables and a beer garden hosted by Yazoo Brewing Company. Noon to 3 p.m. at East Park (700 Woodland St.) —CARRINGTON FOX
THE FOURTH OF JULY The only industrialized nation with a worse infant mortality rate than the U.S. is Latvia—and even if you think Europe is a country, that’s pretty bad. Then there’s the incredible disparity between the richest and poorest Americans (see item No. 1 above), which continues to widen. The president does not believe in evolution. Then there’s Guantánamo Bay. And Adam Carolla. You could be forgiven for not turning to your neighbor and giving ’em the ol’ terrorist fist jab when you think about your country ’tis of thee right now, but hey, nothing says “America rules!” like blowing up a bunch of shit imported from China in front of your house and leaving the wind to blow the trash into your neighbor’s yard. Pass the hot dogs. I feel a rush of patriotism coming on, and I want to gain some weight before it passes. All day and irritatingly late into the night, pretty much everywhere —STEVE HARUCH
Born to Run
JULY 4TH ROAD RACES Not to be outdone by Atlanta’s famous Peachtree 10K, Nashville offers a pair of fun and competitive road races this Independence Day. The old standby is the Cadillac Firecracker 5K, which takes off in Brentwood at 7 a.m. There, runners will zip through an easy course at the Maryland Farms office park. For more information, call 376-0007. Now if you’re looking for a more challenging route, try the Fourth of July Music City 10K/5K Run Walk. That race, which offers prize money, starts at 8 a.m. at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and winds up and down the hilly streets of downtown Nashville past some of the city’s top attractions. You can register for the race Friday morning at the Country Music Hall of Fame. —MATT PULLE
Ride the Rails
MUSIC CITY STAR FIREWORKS EXPRESS This Independence Day, celebrate freedom from the hassles of downtown traffic and parking by taking the Music City Star to enjoy the fireworks and festivities. The train leaves Lebanon at 4 p.m.—stopping in Martha, Mt. Juliet, Hermitage and Donelson along the way—and arrives downtown at 5 p.m. The outbound train will depart from Nashville 30 minutes after the fireworks end. Two $5 tickets are required for the round trip, but you still get more bang for your buck: Parking is free at each outlying station and gas is included. For more info, visit musiccitystar.org. —BRENT ROLEN