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Happy Birthday, Shelby Park! | Nashville News

East Nashville’s Shelby Park is turning 100! The popular park has been a source of recreation, entertainment and relaxation in Nashville since 1912.

The park was one of the first public spaces available at the time it opened and was a spot where families and church groups would gather for picnics, playing and fishing on nearby Sevier Lake. 100 years later, the park is still a good place to come and get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life.

To celebrate its centennial, park will be commemorated Saturday with a community event that will observe the park’s history, nature and reflect on its future. The event, sponsored by the Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms, (the park’s nonprofit support ground created in 2008), will feature dance performances, live music, an art exhibit and a golf classic. A new public art sculpture will also be revealed during Saturday’s festivities.

Shelby Park’s history is nearly as rich as the city in which it is found. The park earned its name around the turn of the century when it was owned by a real estate development company that operated an amusement park at the end of the streetcar line on Shelby Avenue. In 1909, the park board purchased the first 151 acres of the park for $40,000. It opened to the public on July 4, 1912.

Today, the park is more than 336 acres of land with picnic shelters, recreational spaces, golf courses, a nature center and a dog park. With the East Nashville neighborhood growing in favor for many young professionals, families and students, the park is growing again in its popularity.

Metro Parks has been working with area residents and stakeholders in recent times to create a master plan for Shelby Park to help guide the park’s development over the next 20 years. The plan includes parking solutions, water quality improvements with the lake, neighborhood ball fields, pedestrian and bicycle circulation, lighting, playgrounds, nature trail enhancements, traffic control and more.

The Shelby Park Centennial Birthday Celebration will be all day on Saturday, with festivities starting at 8 a.m.

See below for a schedule of events:

  • 8:00am Southern Word Shelby Classic Golf Scramble
  • 8:30am Goo Goo Clusters Jog & Hog
  • 9:00am Bird Watching Hike
  • 10:00am Opening Ceremony
  • 10:30am Dance Performances
  • 12:00pm Live Music
  • 12:30pm Pickin’ Party

All-Day Saturday (10:00am-5:00pm)
Centennial Games
Art Exhibit
Historical Exhibit

Head to Shelby Park in East Nashville this Saturday to celebrate a park that has been a staple in Nashville for 100 years! For more information visit

(Source) (Photos courtesy of

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