Nashville’s ‘little’ Thanksgiving tradition: Eleven years ago, some people I admire started a little five-mile Thanksgiving Day run-walk down the main thoroughfare of the neighborhood I’ve lived in for the past 25 years. I understand that nearly 6,000 people have already registered for tomorrow’s “little” race, the Boulevard Bolt. The event, while called “bolt,” is more a slow-moving celebration than a serious competition (well, some people are serious). In addition to being a wonderful way to start off Thanksgiving (a brisk exercise while saying hello to everyone you’ve ever known — last year, I jogged along with folks ranging from a guy dressed up as a Pilgrim to one of the best-known country music stars to the majority leader of the U.S. Senate), the Boulevard Bolt has become a major fundraising event for many organizations who serve the Nashville-area’s homeless. Over $100,000 is expected to be raised by this year’s race. Tomorrow morning’s weather in Nashville looks a little chilly (temperature in the 30s with the threat of snow flurries) for the 8 a.m. start, but thousands of us will still brave the cold to celebrate the day and to express our thanks to some wonderful, visionary Nashvillians who thought of a small way to make Thanksgiving a day to reach out to their neighbors in need — a small way that has become one of Nashville’s biggest expressions of joyful and heartfelt sharing — and whole lot of fun. It’s just one more thing about Nashville that makes me feel lucky to be able to call it home.
Update: The weather turned out to be perfect. A beautiful sunny morning that feels good to a jogger and bundled-up walkers. My time was, to the second, what I was aiming for, so I’m pleased with that, also. “The Bolt” was followed by a very special day with family and dear friends…indeed, a wonderful day.