Without transcendent classical music, Nashville's top cultural event would be a polka band performing a 58-minute "Yakety Sax" jam session instead of today's Groupon to the Nashville Symphony. For $30, you get one ticket to see Thibaudet Returns at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Concerts take place on Thursday, April 1, at 7 p.m. and April 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. All seating is in the $75 orchestra level.
In two theaters, Sapphire Motion Pictures projects current movies from booths equipped with 3-D image and digital sound technology. As new pictures emerge from Hollywood, Sapphire casts a line to snag the films and project them inside state-of-the-art theaters. Each theater also sells snacks from the concession booth to complement the movie-watching experience and feed the giant humans that act out scenes inside the screen.
The Redneck Comedy Bus Tour delivers a two-hour dose of Southern-tinged humor aboard a refashioned camouflaged school bus. Decked out in their respective getups of denim overalls and fluorescent cake makeup, hosts Tater and Erlene corral their fearless chortle trippers at either the World Famous Nashville Palace (Mondays–Thursdays and Saturdays at 11 a.m.) or the Whiskey Bent Saloon (Mondays and Saturdays at 2 p.m.). Passengers learn about the haunts of Nashville's overabundant country stars and local yokels directly from the denizens themselves, who speak in their native hillbilly pidgin. Coolers the size of tackle boxes containing six-packs are welcome, and tourists are encouraged to bring their own canned alcohol, beef jerky, pork rinds, or vegan bubble gum. After proving proficiency on the subject of goo goos and moon pies, riders are deemed redneck certified and should possess a newfound ability to recite poems about NASCAR.
With the exception of four years during World War II, the Tennessee State Fair has kept the family-friendly party going ever since 1906. Classic fair foods such as cotton candy, corn dogs, and snow cones fuel visitors as they stop in on the prize-seeking animals, tap their toes to live music, and belt tunes at the karaoke showdown. While smaller kids ride the merry-go-round and explore the Tomb of Doom, their older siblings can get their thrills on rides with spine-tingling names such as the Mega Drop and the Fireball. And parents can learn all about Tennessee's small-time brewing operations and distilleries at local drink-making showcases.
Ever since painter and film producer Robyn Morshead first organized the festival in 2009, Artlightenment has continually showcased vital emerging filmmakers and visual artists every November. Structured around an annual theme, such as light and humor, the festivities kick off with two days of film screenings inside the 1898-built Old Fall School. From there, Artlightenment hosts everything from art exhibits and receptions to film seminars, artist workshops, and live concerts. Before the grand finale??a fashion show??awards are distributed in categories both traditional and unorthodox, such as "Best Artistic Expression."