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Get to know Nashville neighborhood The Nations at Light the Nations festival

Photo: Schuyler Howie / Solar Cabin Studios


Over the last handful of years or so, West Nashville neighborhood The Nations has reinvented itself — new restaurants, bars, shops, and loads of new-construction homes have popped up throughout the cozy cluster of streets, mostly named for states, like Georgia and Illinois.

It’s “rapidly become one of the epicenters of Nashville’s culinary explosion, attracting a variety of local restaurateurs, chefs, food truck veterans and brewmasters, among others,” the Nashville Business Journal said earlier this year.

The area already had a bunch going for it, too, being just off main artery Charlotte, an easy shot to downtown and close to other bustling neighborhoods, like Sylvan Park and Sylvan Heights.

It’s all added up to The Nations evolving “into one of Nashville’s hottest urban hubs,” The Tennessean wrote late last year.

If you’ve been looking for the right spot to buy your own piece of Nashville, and have your eye on The Nations, but aren’t totally immersed in the community yet, there’s a perfect opportunity coming up to explore the neighborhood and the neighbors who call it home: Light the Nations, an annual festival that returns for its third year on Saturday, Oct. 20.


What’s on tap at Light the Nations


At the 2018 festival, running 4-10 p.m. along major Nations lifeline 51st Avenue, attendees will have access to all the neighborhood-festival standards: food trucks, local vendors, activities for kids and live entertainment.

One of the things that sets Light the Nations apart from a lot of other Nashville fests, though, is that the entertainment lineup isn’t totally music-focused. There will be plenty of music — including the Global Education Center Afro Latin Percussion Ensemble — but we’ll also get a chance to catch fire dancing from Beyond Wings Circus, all kinds of high-flying circus skills from Suspended Gravity and more.

A key aspect of the Light the Nations festival, if you’re a potential Nashville homebuyer: It’s set up to really let you traverse the neighborhood while you take in the event, wandering from the WXNA stage performers near Michigan Avenue, up past local businesses like the 51st Kitchen & Bar and Bare Bones Butcher, on down past Indiana Avenue and neighborhood caffeine haunt Red Bicycle Coffee, over to the main stage, near local favorite The Nations Bar & Grill.

Plus, it’s free.

Like the Tomato Art Fest in East Nashville, it’s a quick, action- and people-packed way to get to know the area better, and to get a sense of whether it’s where you’d like to set roots.

All the info you might need on the Light the Nations fest is at

If you fall in love with the neighborhood and want to jump in and start hunting for homes there, we’d be thrilled to help. Check out some homes for sale in The Nations here, and reach ACRE here. (If your budget’s a little closer to the $200Ks, but you’d still like to be close to The Nations, take a look at our Ashland Place listings, just up the way, brand-new construction, and impressively affordable.)

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