Billed as one of the finest (and largest) fireworks shows in the South, Nashville’s fireworks extravaganza is also a star-studded affair, with free country music concerts performed throughout the day on July 4 of each year. The whole of downtown Nashville is oriented towards this event, and it draws thousands of attendees of all ages each year; later in the evening, the city’s main fireworks show is also accompanied by an original medley of songs performed by the Nashville Symphony. If you’re not fortunate enough to a) live in a trendy, balconied downtown condo, or b) work in one of Nashville’s downtown office building with easy rooftop access, here are five spots to catch one of the best shows of the year.
Take in all that downtown Nashville has to offer—including a seemingly endless number of honky-tonk bars, trendy restaurants, stylish shopping, and live music—by grabbing a spot in or around bustling Riverfront Park. Parking won’t be easy (or cheap), but if you go early and plan to spend part of your day and most of your night downtown, you’re in for an enjoyable (and action-packed) evening—plus, an impressive front-row seat for the city’s spectacular fireworks show.
Cruising the Cumberland River
Beat the crowds by parking your personal watercraft on the Cumberland. Though a designated “safety zone” (located between the Shelby and Woodland bridges) is closed during the actual fireworks show, you can cruise the areas around this zone—and still enjoy a fantastic view of the Nashville skyline—throughout the evening. If you don’t have your own watercraft, buy a ticket to board the General Jackson Showboat for an entertainment-filled water tour.
Now that Nashville has officially spread across the river, check out the colorful fireworks show from this beloved East Nashville park. Vehicle access is easy, and kids can play on the onsite playground while your family waits for the show to kick off. Plus, if you’re looking for a little more that just summer heat, check out the Hot Chicken Festival, which is typically held at the park during the day on July 4 of each year.
Adventure Science Center
Located just outside of downtown Nashville, this ticketed event offers something for everyone in your family, including all-evening access to the Science Center, special onsite activities and games for kids, fun science demonstrations, free (no-hassle!) parking, and a live feed of the Nashville Symphony’s accompaniment to the fireworks. Hungry? A handful of Nashville’s many famous food trucks will be parked around the building, as well. Be sure to reserve your spot early, as tickets sell out quickly for this family-friendly event.
Parking Garages Surrounding Belmont and Vanderbilt Universities
Nashville isn’t a flat town, and often the well-elevated parking garages surrounding Belmont University and Vanderbilt University offer spectacular views of downtown—plus, there are no restrictions on coolers, food, parking, etc. You won’t necessarily feel the ground shake as the fireworks burst overhead, but you’ll enjoy a low-traffic, low-stress viewing experience.