July 4th. For free.

Not a Hot Chicken

Is there anything more American than getting free stuff? I know, I know, there’s free stuff all over the world, but Americans just take it to a whole new level. Buy one get one free, free samples, festivals every weekend, as Americans we just expect free entertainment and free stuff all the time. That’s why we’re called “the land of the free,” right? Oh, it’s not? Whatever.

In celebration of the American ethic of free I’ve put together a little list of all the ways you can celebrate America’s birthday. For free, of course.

Saturday July 3rd

Roland White in-store at Grimey’s – 5pm
Grimey’s says, “Bluegrass legend and Kentucky Colonel Roland White just had his classic 1976 release I Wasn’t Born To Rock ‘n Roll reissued and he’s playing some shows to celebrate including this free in-store performance.  Don’t miss.” We won’t. Also, that’s beer:30, dudes.

4th Annual Southern Middle TN Tractor Ride at Shady Grove Community Center – 9am
The ride starts at 9am, but doors are at 6am and registration starts at 8am. Tractor pull woo.

First Saturday Art Crawl – 6-9pm
It’s like Art After Hours, but on Saturday. I’ve always had a lot of fun at this one.

Art:pm: Red, White, Blue at the Factory in Franklin – 10am-7pm
This is the event desciption: This July the artists of the row explore art around the theme “Red, White, Blue”. The artists are sure to push the envelop of each of those colors as they create art which represents their personal style using a limited palette.

Sunday July 4th

Hot Chicken Festival in East Park – noon-5pm
This is how I started my July 4th last year, and I’m going to do it again this year. Hot chicken is one of Nashville’s most famous dishes, though it’s not one that everyone can handle. I’ve seen people at Prince’s hitting the table, apparently to tap out and surrender, but there’s not surrendering to hot chicken. It takes no prisoners.

The annual Hot Chicken Festival attracts a huge crowd every year. First-timers and life-longers gather together in celebration of hot chicken and America. All the favorites will be there, including Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, The Chicken Shack and Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish. There will even be some new contenders, including a hot chicken pasta from Amerigo’s.

As you would guess, if you want to eat chicken you have to pay for it unless you’re one of the first 500 people, which will get you two good sized samples from different vendors. The thing is, you have to get there early. I thought that I left myself some good time last year to get in line, but I wasn’t event close to getting any free food. There will also be live music, but that will probably not be nearly as good as the actual chicken.

Celebration Under the Stars at Maple Street Grill in Murfreesboro – 8pm
The Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra will be playing a free concert to celebrate July 4th. Symphonies/Orchestras and the 4th seem to be a pretty common combination, which is more than alright by me. If the Orchestra isn’t enough to bring you out to this event then maybe the fireworks celebration following the event is.

Franklin on the Fourth in Historic Downtown Franklin – 10am-10pm
It’s the 14th year of the Franklin on the Fourth celebration, which is, as you might guess, a festival that celebrates the fourth of July. There will be roaming street entertainers (please tell me they’re mimes), 3 musical stages, antique car displays, community bands, military vehicle displays, a patriotic program recognizing veterans and civilian heroes, an expanded children’s entertainment area, a patriotic costume parade, concessionaires, craft vendors, and commercial booths. Lorrie Morgan, who had 20 radio hits in the 80s and 90s including “Five Minutes,” “A Picture of Me (Without You),” “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” “Dear Me” and “Out of Your Shoes” will be headlining the main musical stage. She’ll go on at 7. Fireworks will wrap up the whole event.

Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing! at Riverfront Park – noon-10pm
This is the big event, which is why I saved it for last. It’s by far the biggest party with the biggest fireworks display in the nation (according to them).

The live music starts off at 1:30pm at the NowPlayingNashville.com stage. Performers include Jordyn Shellhart, Calico Trail, Damien Horne and Jessie James. At 7pm main stage entertainment kicks off with Alya Brown singing the National Anthem. Then Barry Scott will perform the narrative “Liberty for All” with the Nashville Symphony. Then the Symphony will play followed by Jaci Velasquez, then Julianne Hough, and finally Trace Adkins. Then, if it doesn’t rain like it did last year, the fireworks will start at (9:30 and will be accompanied by the Nashville Symphony.

In addition to the live music there will be tons of fun for everyone, including families. There will even be a musical petting zoo! So bring your blankets and small lawn chairs and celebrate America’s birthday with the rest of Nashville.


Also, the first blog post I wrote was on this same topic a year ago. Thanks for helping us make this blog a success. We made it a year! Hopefully we’ll be here for a long time. You all ROCK!


About Emily

Emily (Founder/Editor in Chief) : Emily is a graduate from Belmont University, where she majored in Music Business. She’s originally from rural Ohio, where there are many cows, a river, and one vineyard. Though she moved to Seattle in 2015, Emily maintains a love of both Nashville and free things, and is actively looking for contributors for NashvilleForFree.com. If you're interested, reach out to her at emily@nashvilleforfree.com.