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Nashville, Tennessee

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Nashville in Tennessee.

 

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Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home to a large number of colleges and universities. It is most notably known as a center of the music industry, earning it the nickname "Music City".

Culture

Much of the city's cultural life has revolved around its large university community. Particularly significant in this respect were two groups of critics and writers who were associated with Vanderbilt University in the early twentieth century: the Fugitives and the Agrarians.

Popular destinations include Fort Nashborough and Fort Negley, the former being a reconstruction of the original settlement, the latter being a semi-restored Civil War battle fort; the Tennessee State Museum; and The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. The Tennessee State Capitol is one of the oldest working state capitol buildings in the nation, while The Hermitage is one of the older presidential homes open to the public.

Dining

Although best known for its music, Nashville is a city filled with countless dining destinations. Some of the more popular types of local cuisine include hot chicken, hot fish, barbecue, and meat and three.

Entertainment and performing arts

Nashville has a vibrant music and entertainment scene spanning a variety of genres. The Tennessee Performing Arts Center is the major performing arts center of the city. It is the home of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, the Nashville Opera, and Nashville Ballet. In September 2006, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center opened as the home of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

As the city's name itself is a metonym for the country music industry, many popular tourist sites involve country music, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Belcourt Theatre, and Ryman Auditorium. Ryman was home to the Grand Ole Opry until 1974 when the show moved to the Grand Ole Opry House nine miles (14 km) east of downtown. The Opry plays there several times a week, except for an annual winter run at the Ryman.

Numerous music clubs and honky tonk bars can be found in downtown Nashville, especially the area encompassing Lower Broadway, Second Avenue, and Printer's Alley, which is often referred to as "the District".

Each year, the CMA Music Festival (formerly known as Fan Fair) brings thousands of country fans to the city.

Nashville was once home of television shows such as Hee Haw and Pop! Goes the Country, and to the Opryland USA theme park, which operated from 1972 to 1997 before being closed by its owners Gaylord Entertainment, and soon after demolished to make room for the Opry Mills mega-shopping mall.

The Christian pop and rock music industry is based along Nashville's Music Row, with a great influence in neighboring Williamson County. The Christian record companies include EMI Christian Music Group, Provident Label Group and Word Records.

Although Nashville was never known as a jazz town, it did have many great jazz bands, including The Nashville Jazz Machine led by Dave Converse and its current version, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, led by Jim Williamson, as well as The Establishment, led by Billy Adair. The Francis Craig Orchestra entertained Nashvillians from 1929 to 1945 from the Oak Bar and Grille Room in the Hermitage Hotel. Craig's orchestra was also the first to broadcast over local radio station WSM-AM and enjoyed phenomenal success with a 12-year show on the NBC Radio Network. In the late 1930s, he introduced a newcomer, Dinah Shore, a local graduate of Hume Fogg High School and Vanderbilt University.

Radio station WMOT-FM in nearby Murfreesboro has aided significantly in the recent revival of the city's jazz scene, as has the non-profit Nashville Jazz Workshop, which holds concerts and classes in a renovated building in the north Nashville neighborhood of Germantown. Fisk University also maintains a jazz station.

Nashville has an active theatre scene, having several professional and community theatre companies. Most notable of the professional theatres are Nashville Children's Theatre, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Of the community theatres, Circle Players has been in operation for over 40 years.

Tourism

Perhaps the biggest factor in drawing visitors to Nashville is its association with country music. Many visitors to Nashville attend live performances of the Grand Ole Opry, the world's longest running live radio show. The Country Music Hall of Fame is another major attraction relating to the popularity of country music. The Opryland Hotel, the Opry Mills regional shopping mall and the General Jackson showboat, are all located in what is known as Music Valley.

Civil War history is important to the city's tourism industry. Sites pertaining to the Battle of Nashville and the nearby Battle of Franklin and Battle of Stones River can be seen, along with several well-preserved antebellum plantation houses such as Belle Meade Plantation, Carnton plantation in Franklin, and Belmont Mansion.

Nashville has several arts centers and museums, including the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, the Tennessee State Museum, Fisk University's Van Vechten and Aaron Douglas Galleries, Vanderbilt University's Fine Art Gallery and Sarratt Gallery, and the Parthenon. The Nashville Zoo is one of the city's newer attractions.

Major annual events

Nashville Film Festival Weeklong festival in April. It features hundreds of independent films and is one of the biggest film festivals in the Southern United States.

Country Music Marathon Marathon and half marathon which normally include over 25,000 runners from around the world in April.

Iroquois Steeplechase Annual steeplechase horse racing event which takes place in May at Percy Warner Park.

CMA Music Festival A four day event in June featuring performances by country music stars, autograph signings, artist/fan interaction, and other activities for country music fans.

Fourth of July Celebration which takes place each year at Riverfront Park.

Tomato Art Festival Takes place in East Nashville every August.

African Street Festival Takes place on the campus of Tennessee State University in September.

Tennessee State Fair In September at the State Fairgrounds. The State Fair lasts nine days and includes rides, exhibits, rodeos, tractor pulls, and numerous other shows and attractions.

Country Music Association Awards Usually held in November at the Bridgestone Arena and televised nationally to millions of viewers.

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