The Weekendist: Summer Is Here Edition

It feels like summer came to Nashville weeks ago, but today is actually the first official day of summer. This weekend is packed with activities and events, so get out and celebrate in true summer style. Even if you don’t make it to a scheduled events, take a trip to the park or the lake and enjoy the perfect temperatures forecasted for the weekend. Don’t forget about the ongoing events we’ve written about in the pastBig Band Dances, Tango In The Park, all sorts of movies & concerts in local parks, Dragon Music Sundays, Opryland’s Poolapalooza, free Nashville Symphony performances, and more.

Nashville Predators are hosting a 2008 Draft Party at the Sommet Center. Arrive at 5pm, and the draft starts at 6pm. Fun for families, there will be inflatable games for kids and food & drink specials, as well as an autograph signing and an equipment sale.

Nashville’s International Puppet Festival is a local treasure. See our post about it here, and be sure to check it out. Tickets may be reserved in advance for a small convenience fee, and walk-up tickets are free (Downtown Library; 9am-5pm Friday-Sunday).

Friends of Warner Parks hold Full Moon Pickin’ Parties all summer, and today is the 2nd one this year. Great local bluegrass bands will be playing, and anyone can bring an instrument and join in the pickin’ circles (you even get discounted admission if you do). $20 at the door, but children 6 and under get in free, and admission for children ages 7-15 is only $10. From 7pm-11pm, this is a great way to spend a relaxing evening outside.

Ten Thousand Villages is at it again with their Second Annual Kids Day featuring free facepainting, art, games, food, and drum circles (all day, drum circles are at 11:30am & 1:30pm).

Walk Like MADD 5k is your weekly opportunity to participate in a 5k benefiting something or another. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) will use all funds raised on community education about drunk driving. The walk begins at 9am in Centennial Park.

Shelby Bottoms Water Fest is celebrating, well… Water. They boast “Free admission, free gifts, free food, free water, games, crafts and activities, face painting, rain barrel workshops, Nashville Zoo presentation, and all you wanted to know about the most precious element of life,” along with special guests from many other organizations (10am-2pm).

What Is June Freeze? Our favorite local urban pranksters will be holding a staged freeze in Hillsboro Village on Saturday. Meet in Fannie Mae Dees Park at 1pm for instructions to take part, or wander around the village around the same time and wait for hilarity to ensue.

A Town Hall Meeting with Congressmen Jim Cooper and John Hall is scheduled for discussion of political issues within the entertainment industry. 2pm at Sunset Grill in Hillsboro Village. Should be entertaining with the afore-mentioned frozen agents wandering around. [Thanks to Chris C. for the tip!]

We wrote about Taste Of Music City a long time ago, and it’s here! Downtown on the Korean War Veterans Bridge from 5pm-9pm, enjoy Nashville’s biggest food & wine festival on Saturday night.

The 2008 Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Festival kicks off at 12pm. Local jazz & blues music is the highlight of this street festival, and it’s really one of the best festivals of the summer. The festival is free, but if you want to attend the Bridging The Gap Mixer on Friday night, it’s $10 ($5 for kids) and features even more local music on the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge.

Donate some time and help clean up downtown. Many local residents will be teaming together to clean up under the Jefferson Street bridge from 8am-12pm. After the cleanup, you’re practically already at the Jazz & Blues Fest!

There’s a free show upstairs in the pool room of the Sportsman’s Grille on Saturday evening, and if you know your musicians, you know that you don’t want to miss this – Jack Pearson, Tony Monaco and Jim White will be forming a jazz trio for the night. Chris C. gives us the scoop on his blog, and a little background on each of the musicians. Be there, 9:30pm. [Thanks for the tip, Chris!]

Photo by camerondaigle.

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