- The Progressive Party ~ High Rises & Honky Tonks ~ is an annual celebration of downtown Nashville. This event serves as a fundraiser in support of The DISTRICT’S mission and is an incredible opportunity to showcase some of the unique venues
that are part of downtown Nashville. Contributions for The DISTRICT help fund community projects such as Holiday Decorations and improvement projects, including The Ryman Alley.
- Deck the District
- Music City Bowl
- Holiday Parade
- New Years Eve
- Fourth of July
- Wine on the River is proud to maintain a charitable component by contributing proceeds and collaborating with its nonprofit sponsor, The DISTRICT. This organization is dedicated to economic and community revitalization of three historic districts and their contiguous areas in downtown Nashville; Broadway, 2nd Avenue/Riverfront and Printers Alley, collectively known as The DISTRICT.
Wine on the River features 30 beverage Booths, and The DISTRICT provides the Volunteers!
Wine on the River is always held in September, and features a variety of wine, beer, and/or spirits specific to certain regions from around the globe. The event is always held in downtown Nashville, on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. Food and live jazz music will also be included in the festivities.
The purpose of this award is to honor a person or persons who have provided greatservice & leadership to The DISTRICT and who have worked to broaden
The DISTRICT’s influence, outreach and goodwill.
Gary Everton 2017 Sprit of the DISTRICT Award Recipient>Gary Everton embodies the spirit of The DISTRICT in every way. He is passionate about our making The DISTRICT a great place to live, work and visit ever since locating his first office downtown in 1991. Over the past three decades, he has invested his time and efforts into almost every organization and every committee that promotes our city,especially the historical districts downtown.
- Preserve America Neighborhood, The District, Nashville, TennesseeFirst Lady Laura Bush today named The District, an area that covers Printer’s Alley, Second Avenue and Lower Broad, as one of the first five communities to receive the designation of Preserve America Community Neighborhood. By executive order in 2003, President Bush created the Preserve America initiative to encourage the preservation of historic neighborhoods and buildings around the country through intergovernmental partnerships. The initiative also encourages heritage tourism. The White House has been working in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and several departments. Since its creation, more than 350 localities have received the Community designation. To get the designation, communities must go through an application process. At an announcement made in Nashville last July, the initiative was expanded to create a Community Neighborhood designation to recognize areas within metropolitan areas of more than 200,000 people.
- Tootsie’s is the most famous honky tonk on downtown Nashville’s Broadway. It has hosted and nurtured dozens of Country Music’s legends — such as Faron Young, Charley Pride, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn, to name a few — and is responsible for grooming many of Music City’s stars of tomorrow. With such a reputation, Tootsies has become a legend in and of itself.
The legend began in 1960 when Hattie Louise “Tootsie” Bess bought a bar named Mom’s. After buying Mom’s, Tootsie hired a painter to refurbish the place. One day she came to the bar to find that he had painted the whole place orchid. From that day on, Mom’s became known as Tootsies Orchid Lounge.
Tootsies is located behind the Ryman Auditorium, which was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. From 1960 to 1974, Tootsies was positioned to accommodate the up and coming stars that appeared on the Opry. Those who frequented Tootsies between sets were Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Harlon Howard, and Merle Kilgore, among others. As these icons gathered at her honky tonk, Tootsie Bess began to collect their photos and plaster them all over the wall, effectively creating what is today renowned as Tootsie’s Wall of Fame.
As the owner, Tootsie Bess become an icon, not only for the popularity of Tootsies Orchid Lounge, but also for her kindness.
“The artists just loved Mrs. Tootsie,” says John Taylor, the current entertainment director at Tootsies, “[because] she would take care of them.” Country Music luminary and early Tootsies patron Tom T. Hall has stated that “for young songwriters and musicians [Tootsie] was a small finance company, a booking agent, and counselor.”
With this repertoire, Tootsie Bess established herself, and her Orchid Lounge, as an invaluable part of the Nashville community.
Although Tootsies became a notable part of the downtown Nashville scene, the honky tonk soon fell upon hard times. In 1974 the Grand Ole Opry moved to the Opryland Complex. As a result, Tootsies’ popularity declined, and by the time Tootsie Bess died four years later, the Broadway strip in downtown Nashville had also settled into urban decay.
By the 1990s Tootsies Orchid Lounge was in danger of closing. Steve Smith, who had been renting Tootsies on a month-by-month lease, became determined to save it. By 1997 he had bought and acquired all rights to Tootsies, and through his hard work revived the iconic spot.
Today, Tootsies World Famous Orchid Lounge is a thriving, must-see stop in Nashville for Nashvillians and tourists alike. The honky tonk is packed every night of the week with live bands playing on the first, second, and the recently added third floor patio.
Tootsies continues to receive up-and-coming artists who aspire to establish themselves and potentially get their photo on Tootsies Wall of Fame.
“We call [Tootsies] ‘Honky Tonk Boot camp,’” says Taylor. “We know that a lot of the kids come to get started [here] and we hook them up with the number one songwriters over on Music Row. We put … some of the best new artists in the country working there to become stars of tomorrow. It’s fun working with them and carrying on a tradition that Tootsie got started.”
And this tradition has not gone unnoticed. In 2011, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum honored Tootsies with a photo exhibit entitled “Tootsies Orchid Lounge: Thirty-Four Steps and Fifty Years.” The exhibit recognized Tootsies’ contribution to Nashville and the Country Music industry with photos that encapsulated key moments in Tootsies’ legendary history.