And They’re Off! Derby Weekend in Nashville

When the weather gets warmer in Nashville, the options for fun also heat up! Here’s a roundup of events and activities to fill the first weekend in May.

May 1-3, 2015

I hope that, by the beginning of May, you’ve already washed the pollen out of your screened-in porch and spruced up your indoor/outdoor decor for the summer. If you haven’t, you may not get around to it, because when the weather gets warmer in Nashville, the options for fun also heat up! Here’s a roundup of events and activities to fill the first weekend of May.

The Southern Women’s Show will be scheduled April 30 through May 3 at the Music City Center. While this annual event doesn’t have a lot of Nashville character, it can be a fun way to spend half a day, get some free stuff, and find out the latest trends in hair, skin care, cooking, oiled-up firefighters, inexpensive wine and other girly things. (Now that I’m actually writing about this, I realize it doesn’t really Sound Like Fun – but there was a Living Social ticket promotion back when the weather was cold and entertainment options were meager.) Tickets are $12 at the door.

Friday May 1 is the first day of the annual 3-day Tennessee Craft (formerly TACA) Fair at Centennial Park. These enormous events feature every kind of artisan you can think of, and there’s generally a good variety of food trucks and beverage vendors to keep your energy up. The spring show is a great place to shop for Mother’s Day. Be sure to wear sunscreen and flat shoes (you may have to park a few blocks away, and the ground almost always gets a bit muddy by the end of the weekend). Even though dogs are permitted, they don’t seem to enjoy this event, and your fellow shoppers will appreciate it if you leave your pets at home.

The Zac Brown Band is playing at Bridgestone Arena on Friday night May 1 – tickets (mostly resale) are available through Ticketmaster. (I really like Zac’s new steam punk look with the snazzy hat – don’t you?)

Sevier Park, a 20-acre oasis in the trendy 12 South neighborhood, is the location of Sevier Park Fest on Saturday, May 2. The event is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit the park’s improvement projects. If you’re feeling guilty about not taking Fido to the crafts fair, you can make it up to him with a stroll around Sevier Park. Saturday is also Commencement at Lipscomb University, however, so plan your traffic approach accordingly – Granny White Pike is likely to be “red” on the traffic maps!

Saturday May 2 is Kentucky Derby Day. has provided a delightful ‘Run for the Roses’ Mint Julep recipe so that you can watch the racing action from the comfort of your own recently-cleaned screened-in porch! (The racing action airs 3-6 pm, CDT on NBC.)  If you prefer a more social event, or are eager to give everyone a preview of your Steeplechase hat, you might check out the Nashville Frontstretch Fest. Billed as the “world’s largest Derby watch party,” this afternoon event (1-6 pm) features beer, bourbon and tasty eats – and will be set up at the Nashville Farmers Market. Tickets are $49 in advance ($59 at the door). Designated drivers (i.e., nondrinkers) can get in for $20.

After the horse race, why not chill out listening to some classic music? The Long Players are performing Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album on Saturday night at 3rd & Lindsley (2 shows). On Sunday, John Fogerty is headlining the season opener at The Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel in Joelton. Both concerts Sound Like Fun to me!

Author: Margaret

Sounds Like Fun - Nashville is a labor of love - my love for Music City, Middle Tennessee, and experiencing the best that our area has to offer. In recent years, I've developed an informal following among my friends and professional colleagues. People ask me what I've got planned for an upcoming weekend – or seek advice about good activities for showing visiting friends or relatives around the Nashville/Middle Tennessee area. Even though there are other sites with event calendars, I think followers of my blog can expect some extra insight into goings-on that would suit ‘most anyone seeking to experience the diversity of fun and interesting things to do around town. I'm always on the look-out for good places to walk my dog. Maggie is a 10-year-old mixed breed shelter dog who still becomes comically ecstatic when she sees me pick up a leash. She's my inspiration to start a page featuring great dog walks around Nashville.

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