Twenty-one years after releasing “Independence Day” — a song about a mother’s escape from an abusive relationship on the Fourth of July — Martina McBride is gearing up to headline Nashville’s biggest July 4th celebration to date.
McBride, whose Everlasting Tour stretches until late October, tops off a two-day bill that also includes Mikky Ekko, country guitar heroes Striking Matches and pop-rock pianist Gabe Dixon. Appropriately, the event will be held on a four-block stretch of Lower Broadway, with an estimated 280,000-plus attendees squeezing themselves between the honky-tonks and western stores that line the street. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday evening, country fans at home can live-stream the performances, too, with McBride taking the outdoor stage at 8:10 p.m. The live-stream option is available online here and via the AT&T U-verse app.
Saturday’s biggest attraction, though, will likely be the 9:30 p.m. fireworks display. For months, Nashville and New York have waged a friendly arms race with one another, both cities attempting to collect the country’s largest stock of fireworks shells. Nashville won, with Saturday’s fireworks show — which will be synchronized to a live performance by the Nashville Symphony — now expected to be the largest in America. Sorry, Big Apple.
Following her performance at the “Let Freedom Sing” Fourth of July party in Nashville, McBride — who has been a passionate voice during the recent “Tomatogate” controversy — will head west for a string of shows in California.