Saturday, June 2, 2012

Full Moon Pickin' Party

 Nashville is blessed with some many qualities that make our great city unique from so many other cities across the country. Naturally one's mind might immediately go straight to the music aspect of the "Music City" and though having amazing shows available just about every night of the week at a wide range of venues, from Exit/In, Mercy Lounge, Canary Ballroom and, my personal favorite, the Ryman Auditorium, music isn't our only asset. 

Something that sets us apart from all the others are our parks.  We have parks in just about every neighborhood giving residents a place to have a picnic, take the kids to play, relax to the soft sound of nature or simply sit and be.  Sitting as the matriarch of all our parks I feel are the Warner Parks.  Originally opened in 1927 on land donated from Luke Lea and named for his father-in-law, The Warner Parks have been central to the character of our city for over 85 years.  

Over 500,000 people visit these parks each year.  So many people see it as a safe haven for relaxation, picnics, exercise and serenity.  I grew up in these parks attending field day here in elementary school, watching my brother play baseball summer after summer, enjoying the festivities of Steeplechase each May and walking trails with friends.  Every time I enter the grand entrance at the end of Belle Meade Boulevard I am transported back to a time when cell phones didn't interrupt my solace, the sound of the woods around me is filled with birds instead of cars, and the wind blowing through the trees my only companion.  

The comfort of these parks rejuvenates my soul and makes me grateful that so many people of Nashville value them as I do.  They are truly one of our greatest treasures, one of finest assets and one of my favorite places on God's green earth.

Several times a year Friends of Warner Parks put on the Full Moon Pickin' Party.  Held June through October, now in its 11th year, this festive gathering helps to raise money to preserve and maintain The Warner Parks.  Family friendly, a great place to bring the dogs, stretch out on a blanket and sit back and savor the bluegrass music emanating from the stables, from the stage and each little nook and cranny where small gatherings will be sharing their musical talents.  While the "main stage" always has a lovely bluegrass band with child dancing around them, my favorite are the small circles of fiddle playing, banjo banging, mandolin music that penetrates the atmosphere.  There is so much talent, so much passion that truly invites you, offers you the best seat in the house and promises a show that will invigorate your soul.

Last night some friends and I decided to attend the first of the 2012 pickin' parties and it was just as amazing as the last time I went.  Here are some pictures to entice you to attend the next one.  For a full schedule click here.

The music even brings the youngest patrons to the dance floor! 
 A great place to relax with friends and enjoy one of Nashville's finest attributes, music and nature!
If you are looking for something fun and different to try I would highly recommend getting a group of friends and family together and going to hear the music and enjoy the atmosphere at the next Full Moon Pickin' Party!
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