The Cumberland River District
On any given evening or weekend you are sure to see a buzz of activity at the Cumberland RiverWalk. It is the perfect destination for people who enjoy running, walking or boating. In 2011, Clarksville will also be welcoming its first mixed use community. Located on the river, the Clarksville Marina at Liberty Park will be home to boat slips, condos, retail shops and dining establishments. The River is an excellent place for families who want to enjoy the outdoors while on their visit to Clarksville.
The River is also home to the annual Riverfest, this two day festival is in September of every year and offers free admission, a Tour d’Art, concerts, delicious food from local vendors, entertainment for kids of all ages and river related activities such as the Riverfest Regatta and the Lighted Boat Parade. You can learn more at www.clarksvilleriverfest.com
Each year, the river district lights up for Christmas on the Cumberland. The free light show, located at McGregor Park, stretches for seven-tenths of a mile and runs from the end of November to the first of January. Vendors are located along the way selling concessions and pets are welcome to walk through the park during the light display. In the month of December, the City of Clarksville and the Clarksville Jaycees put on a Christmas parade you don’t want to miss. Full of colorful floats and local entertainment, the parade is the lead-in for the annual Downtown for the Holidays event, which is an evening of food, music and extended shopping hours at downtown businesses.
Downtown Clarksville sits next to the Cumberland River and is full of shopping, dining and entertainment options. There you have shops and boutiques that give you access to gifts that you are sure to find nowhere else. Anchored by Franklin Street and Strawberry Alley, you will find an array of shopping opportunities ranging from antiques, clothing and jewelry to books and so much more. Every third Friday during the months of May through October, Strawberry Alley is also home to the free concert series, Jammin’ In The Alley.
During your stay in Clarksville you are sure to get hungry, but not to worry, there is a wide range of dining options to choose from. From pizza, pasta and sandwiches to steak and seafood, casual or upscale, there is something for everybody. You will not only find the familiar chain restaurants that you love but also locally owned eateries that show off Clarksville’s culinary flair. Many of the dining establishments in the community are avid supporters of the military and offer discounts on your meal, so be sure to ask.
While you are walking downtown make a stop at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, Tennessee’s second largest general museum. It will prove to be of interest to all ages and is a great place for kids to visit. The museum takes up an entire city block and houses art, history and science exhibits. To learn more about the Customs House and all the amazing and fun things it has to offer at www.customshousemuseum.org.
If you find that you and your family are theater buffs; then check out a show at the Roxy Regional Theater. The Roxy is one of Tennessee’s top tourist destinations and serves as Clarksville’s oldest regional theater. There you can see such classics as Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol” and Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” as well as original scripts written by some of Clarksville’s finest talent. To see what all will be playing while you are in town please visit www.roxyregionaltheatre.org
Rivers and Spires Festival
Christmas on the Cumberland: From the end of November to January 1st, McGregor Park at the Cumberland River Lights Up With Over a Million Lights.
From April 14 to 16, 2011, the award-winning Rivers and Spires Festival will transform the Clarksville downtown into an open air entertainment venue. Food, live music, kid’s activities and local artisans are a few of the attractions you will find during the three day festival. With free admission, it is a great destination for the whole family.
While at Rivers and Spires there are several stages set up with a variety of music to be heard. No matter if your favorite genre of music is jazz, country or rock; there will be an act you are sure to like. Past headliners of Rivers and Spires include Lee Greenwood, Diamond Rio, Charlie Daniels Band and even an appearance by Clarksville native and former Miss USA, Rachel Smith!
The streets are lined with vendors selling all the food you love to indulge in at festivals; everything from frozen lemonade to hot dogs and funnel cakes. You can also get in some shopping while you are there. Be sure to stop one of the many tents that will be selling unique and many times locally made items that you will want to take back home with you.
While at Rivers and Spires you will also have the opportunity to experience wines made at Clarksville’s own award-winning Beachaven Vineyards and Winery at Jazz N Wine, which is Rivers & Spires annual wine tasting event. Beachaven has a long history of supporting the community and offers events such as Jazz on the Lawn. This event takes place every year on select Saturday’s from May through October. With free admission, Jazz on the Lawn is an ideal destination for couples, friends and families looking to relax, have a picnic, listen to Jazz and enjoy locally made wines. For more information please visit www.beachavenwinery.com
The Rivers and Spires Festival started in 2003 as a tribute to the returning soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Since then, it has continued to follow this heritage, with special tributes for the many soldiers from nearby Fort Campbell deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a way that the people of Clarksville-Montgomery County can give back to the soldiers that have given so much. For more information please visit www.riversandspires.com.