If you’re new to Nashville, and aiming to get to know our individual neighborhoods, festivals and block parties always seem to work as a good introduction to the vibe and culture of a place.
For 12 South, there’s the Sevier Park Fest in May; The Nations has the Light the Nations festival in October; and that same month’s Nashville Oktoberfest always feels like a solid getting-to-know-you date with Germantown.
In East Nashville, where we spend a lot of time, neighbors throw a slew of events and festivals to get locals together, and newcomers better acquainted with East Side energy.
We have a hard time picking a favorite, but if the idea is to really get a sense of locals — to really get a sense of East Nashvillians, specifically — you’ll have a hard time doing better than the Thirth of July, an annual block party that’s grown from a front-porch hang with friends into a big, friendly fest, with sponsors and vendors and hundreds of neighbors.
Early Thirth days, and the Thirth in 2018
East Nashvillian Chris Thompson launched the Thirth in 2001, and although a lot’s changed as it’s eased toward its 20th anniversary — bigger crowds, bigger stage, bigger sound system — a lot has stayed consistent, too.
The Thirth is always on July 3, and has always leaned local for entertainment, food and drink. This year, we’ll see locals Elle Macho, Lynn Taylor and the Barflies, Keats and the Lonely Owls take the stage at the party.
On the food/drink front, East Nashville businesses G’z BBQ and Frisson Soft Serve ice cream will be on site, along with Nashville food truck Bao Down and Nashville’s craft-beer trendsetters, Yazoo.
As with past Thirths, North 12th Street in East Nashville will be closed down between Ordway and Calvin for ticket holders, who’ll get access to the party and all the Yazoo they can safely consume for $20 in advance, $30 at the gate. (You can purchase tickets to The Thirth of July online through Wannado, and your name will be at guest check-in.)
Each year, the party has also focused on energy on raising funds for local nonprofits, including East Nashville’s Martha O’Bryan Center and Urban Green Lab.
It’s a long, fun night — gates open at 4 p.m., and the event wraps at midnight — and more than anything, it’s a pretty perfect introduction to what living in East Nashville is like: neighborly, colorful, energetic and welcoming.
Head to thethirth.com for more on the event, and to grab your tickets.
If The Thirth of July makes you fall in love with East Nashville, and you feel ready to start househunting here, we’d love to help. Take a look at some homes for sale in East Nashville, and to get started, reach ACRE here, and tell us about your new-home must-have list.