The Annual Mayor’s First Day Festival was started by former Nashville Mayor, Bill Purcell to help celebrate the beginning of the new school year. The concept has been a total success because an average of 20,000 local children and their families partake in this annual event every year. The festivities normally includes plenty of free educational activities, entertainment, and school supplies.
In 2012, for the first time in a dozen years, Mayor Karl Dean decided not to hold (cancelled) the annual Mayor’s First Day Festival. In its place, for at least this year (2012), the Metro Government will host a back-to-school supply drive instead.
The Mayor’s First Day Festival was usually held in early August, on the Sunday before the Metro Nashville Public School officially opens, in the heart of downtown Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena.
The official festivities usually kick off at 2:00p.m. and run until around 4-5:00p.m. You can also usually find a few more related activities happening in the downtown area as well and some of those will run a few hours later.
Make no mistake about it- this is a community event with some of Nashville's leading companies sending in their finest employees to volunteer every year. Usually there are about 100 or so booths and all of them have an educational value of some sort, but the Mayor's office doesn't even charge vendors a booth rental fee.
The list of sponsors reads like a who's who list of some of the most well-known & locally grown companies ranging from Ingram and Vanderbilt to Krogers and SESAC.
The best part of the Mayor’s First Day Festival, other than the children just love it, is that all it was created from one Mayor's vision to help students and their families celebrate their annual pilgrimage to into a new school year.
If you would like to sponsor and/or volunteer for this free community event, you can contact the Mayor's Office of Children and Youth
online at www.nashville.gov/mocy