Updated: Feb 6, 2021
2020 was an arduous year for everyone, everywhere. Nashville was no different. In March, parts of our town were demolished by a tornado. Just a week later, while our citizens were still pulling pieces of their homes out of the surrounding trees, COVID-19 hit, and Nashville came to a halt.
Three months passed, riots broke out around the United States and Nashville was not exempt to the suffering our Country was feeling. The Court House was set on fire, and windows were broken out of many of our beautiful buildings downtown. Over the past months, we have slowly tried to return to normal, but not without additional hindrances.
If you've ever been to our spirited city, you know a large part of the downtown energy is the hustle and bustle of the tourism industry. With the windows literally boarded up at times up and down Broadway, and the stages silent, no woo girls, party buses, pedal taverns, and party tractors, our streets weren't the same. The spark was missing from our city. First sports were canceled, and then CMA Fest, 4th of July, Parades, Halloween, New Year's Eve, the list goes on and on. The events that make Nashville everyone's favorite party destination were stifled.
Eventually, the bars opened back up with restrictions. Mask mandates, 25% capacity, only acoustic music, no dancing, and they had to be closed by 10PM. This permitted some of the musicians and service industry employees to return to work, but with very limited shifts, and with only a small portion of the traffic that they were used to seeing.
Just when Downtown thought they might be on track to return to normal, Christmas morning, someone parked an RV downtown full of explosives, taking out a large portion of Second Ave., and shutting down bars, restaurants, and other businesses that were already struggling to survive.
Over time, the restrictions have changed, the party busses, taverns, and tractors have returned to our streets, sports have returned with limited attendance, full bands have returned to the bars (dancing is still forbidden), and they are now allowed to stay open until Midnight with 50% capacity.
How have the people of Nashville adapted and survived the past year's natural disaster, a pandemic, riots, and a bombing? Those are the stories I hope to tell in the upcoming features.