Memorial Day 5K honors the fallen with musket start and route through Nashville historic sites

Memorial Day 5K honors the fallen with musket start and route through Nashville historic sites


Runners and walkers of all ages and skill levels looking for a family-friendly way to honor our fallen soldiers, sailors, and airmen won’t want to miss the 20th Annual Memorial Day Dash 5K, presented by the Metro Nashville Historical Commission.

The race begins at 7:30 a.m. on Memorial Day, with a gently rolling course that includes some of the city’s most significant and scenic historic sites.

Starting from the Adventure Science Center and winding through Fort Negley and the Nashville City Cemetery – where many of Nashville’s early heroes lie in rest – the Memorial Day Dash combines history, scenic vistas and plenty of fun throughout the 3.1-mile course. The race is presented by the Metro Parks and Historical Commission, with support from the Adventure Science Center. Proceeds benefit the ongoing restoration and interpretation efforts of the Nashville City Cemetery Association.

memorial day dash“We encourage runners and walkers to get creative and dress in their most patriotic attire for a chance to win that coveted prize,” said Clay Bailey, a longtime runner, history teacher and Nashville City Cemetery Association Board member. “The Memorial Day Dash is not only a lot of fun, but it’s a great race for everyone from beginners to serious runners. It is a highly appropriate way to begin Memorial Day and honor the history of our city and nation.”

The Memorial Day Dash 5K begins and ends at the Adventure Science Center, located at 800 Fort Negley Boulevard. Packet pickup opens at 6 a.m., and the race begins at 7:30. Walk-ups are welcome, but participants are encouraged to register in advance online here. Registration is $35. The ceremonial firing of a musket starts the race, thanks to the Sons of the American Revolution.

As an official race of the Nashville Striders Grand Prix Series, the timed race will award the Top 3 overall male and female, along with masters, grandmasters and age group awards ranging from 9 and under to 80+, in five-year increments.

The Nashville City Cemetery Association consists of an all-volunteer board of directors. The Association board works with the Metro Historical Commission and the Metro Board of Parks & Recreation. Over the past several years, NCCA has worked closely with the Metro Historical Commission to restore the cemetery and to increase awareness through public participation. NCCA is involved with sponsoring special tours open and free to the public, including the Annual Living History Tour, and in developing the NCCA web site to make available inscriptions and photographs of tombstones, interment records, obituaries, and historical information for those buried at City Cemetery. To learn more, visit

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