Monday, August 27, 2007

"Dragon" in the Heat

Located on the west bank of the Cumberland River, Riverfront Park was the site of the Nashville Dragon Boat Races Festival on Saturday. The multi-level park hosts a variety of activities during the summer, including concerts and the world-famous Fourth of July Fireworks extravaganza.

I took this photo from street level (1st Avenue), looking north. The starting line for the races was close to the red bridge at the top of the photo, and the finish line was in the area of where I was standing. Each team had a tent set up where paddlers could cool off and relax between races, and where friends, family members an co-workers could cheer them. There were a number of tents on the street level, also, including a shade tent (where I was standing at the time), a misting tent, food and drink tents, and information tents where attendees could get fliers about programs and events.

In the upper, left corner of the photo, you can see a log cabin which is part of historic Ft. Nashborough. The fort is a replica of the village built by the first settlers to the area. It's open daily and free to the public.

Directly across the river from the park and on the east bank of the Cumberland is LP Field, home to the Tennessee Titans. On game days, the red bridge a the top of the photo is closed to traffic (except for game shuttles) to allow fans who park downtown easy access to the field.

When they hold concerts in Riverfront Park, there is usually a floating stage set up in front of the park. And, the General Jackson Showboat, which is a replica of the 19th Century paddlwheelers, turns around in front of Riverfront Park during its daily cruises.

A couple of items to note: The park has three, grassy levels with large, concrete steps on the edge of each level. Unfortunately, because of the drought, the normally beautiful green grass is like more like straw. Note the beige umbrella and a red/white striped umbrella in the lower, right corner of the photo. I saw a number of festival goers sitting or walking with open umbrellas to protect them from the hot sun.

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