Let's talk Broadway in downtown Nashville, shall we? I'm old enough to remember when it looked like the aftermath of an apocalypse. Windows were shuttered; traffic was almost non-existent (some might remember THAT reality fondly, actually); and the street was lined with, shall we say, very ADULT establishments. It was NOTHING like the uber-lucrative tourist destination it is today.

And, thank the Lord for that.

That, by the way, was the 1980s, and I'm not exactly sure when the much-needed gentrification happened--maybe with the big country music boom in the early 90s--but, like many fans, I'm glad it happened.

Celebrating an Iconic Nashville Bar

But through it all, one business was always there and ALWAYS a popular place to land for anyone wanting to really soak in Nashville atmosphere. And that business is Tootsie's Orchid Lounge.

Because of its location across the alley from the legendary Ryman Auditorium--the original home of the Grand Ole Opry--Tootsie's has hosted any number of country music legends. Many have obviously been there to perform, but many have just hopped across the alley after a performance to enjoy a cold beverage. Tootsie's has seen it all; it's a true Nashville and Tennessee icon.

A Tootsie's Party That Will Overtake Broadway

And what better way to celebrate its birthday than with an all-star bash that will spill out of Tootsie's front doors onto Broadway and take over downtown Nashville. If you're going to be in Music City on September 17th, get down there early, park, and get ready for an amazing line-up of performers. And the best part? It's all free.

Country music's viral sensation Oliver Anthony will be on hand along with Lee Brice, Randy Houser, Colt Ford, Jamey Johnson, and Montgomery Gentry. And, as it says here, you never know WHO will show up. I mean, yeah. It's Nashville and it's a celebration of a venue where hundreds of musicians have performed. Some of your favorite stars NOT scheduled might just want to stop by anyway.

A Little Tootsie's History

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge used to be called Mom's until entertainer Hattie Louise "Tootsie" Bess bought it in 1960. And if you're wondering WHY it's known as the "Orchid" Lounge, well, it's because of a mistake made by the building's painter. Yeah, he screwed up and used orchid purple. But Tootsie liked it and orchid purple it stayed.

But as vitally important to Nashville's aura as Tootsie's is, it's just not big enough to hold all the fans who will want to celebrate its birthday on September 17th.

Broadway is going to be LIT...but these days, that's nothing unusual.

LOOK: Stunning, historic hotels from every state and the stories behind them

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