Any time of year is a good time for motorhome travelers to stop in Music City. But April 2009 — dubbed as "Awesome April in Music City" for the seventh year in a row — is an even better time.
Nashville, Tenn., is burgeoning with unique music festivals, concerts, award shows and exhibitions. Here’s a sample.
GMA Music Week
Gospel music will celebrate its 40th Annual Dove Awards ceremony at 8 p.m. EDT on April 23. Top artists from every style of gospel music will come together for a night full of music and celebration as the Gospel Music Association bestows the industry's highest honor — the Dove Award. This year's show, held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, will be televised live and in high definition on the Gospel Music Channel.
The Dove Awards are just one of the highlights of GMA Music Week, held in Music City April 18 to 22. With literally hundreds of exclusive music performances, leading keynote speakers and a variety of professional, educational and spiritual seminars, GMA Music Week is the only event of its kind that brings together all aspects of the Christian and gospel music industries. More info: www.gospelmusic.org.
Music City Walk of Fame
Music City, Inc. will celebrate the sixth class of inductees to the Music City Walk of Fame presented by founding sponsor Gibson Guitar on Sunday, April 19 at 2:30 p.m.
Permanent sidewalk medallions made of stainless steel and terrazzo, with each honoree's name displayed in a star-and-guitar design, will be installed in the sidewalk along the city's Music Mile. Past inductees include: Elvis Presley, Vince Gill, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Emmy Lou Harris, Jimi Hendrix, Little Richard, Michael W. Smith, Hank Williams and many more. More info: www.visitmusiccity.com/walkoffame.
Nashville Film Festival
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) is one of the longest-running and most prestigious film festivals in the South. This year's festival will take place April 16 to 23 at Regal Green Hills Cinema.
In 2008, more than 22,000 film lovers, entertainment professionals and industry insiders from all over the world made the trek to NaFF, enjoying 240 films from 44 countries. More info: www.nashvillefilmfestival.org.
"Always ... Patsy Cline"
This spring, the popular bio-musical "Always ... Patsy Cline" returns to the Ryman Auditorium and to the stage where the country music legend first rose to fame. The musical opens April 15 and is slated for a six-week engagement at the historic theater.
Vocal powerhouse Mandy Barnett will reprise her critically acclaimed turn as Patsy, and theater veteran Tere Myers returns in the role of Patsy's devoted fan, Louise Seger. The production which features more than 20 of Patsy's most memorable songs, including "I Fall to Pieces," "Crazy," "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and "Sweet Dreams."
Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon
The 10th Annual Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon is set to hit the streets of Nashville on Saturday, April 25. The musically themed road race is expected to attract 35,000 runners, walkers and junior racers and over 100,000 spectators.
The event will feature 50 live bands playing along the course, 25 high school cheer squads to keep energy pumping, a fantastic finish line festival and a post-race concert featuring one of country music's name acts at the Sommet Center.
The race weekend will kick off Thursday and Friday with a free two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the Nashville Convention Center. Three-thousand children will also take part in the YMCA Country Music Kids' Marathon on Friday.
For more information about these events, visit www.visitmusiccity.com/visitors/awesomeapril.