The official dedication of Nashville’s Rep. John Lewis Way

Rep. John Lewis Way in Nashville | Photo via Metro Nashville

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Tomorrow (July 17), the City of Nashville will formally dedicate Rep. John Lewis Way with a series of free, celebratory events.

The former 5th Avenue was renamed in January to honor the late congressman who played a major role in Nashville’s civil rights activism. The location was chosen because of the Woolworth building (221 5th Ave. N.), where Lewis’ sit-ins resulted in the city becoming the first in the South to desegregate public areas.

Main events

  • Memorial Service | Fri., July 16 | 6 p.m. | First Baptist Church — Capitol Hill, 635 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. | This service, hosted by American Baptist College, Fisk University, First Baptist Church + the JLW Committee, will feature speakers remembering Rep. John Lewis + his contributions to Nashville and the civil rights movement. 
  • Street Dedication | Sat., July 17 | 9 a.m. | Corner of Jefferson St. + Rep. John Lewis Way | An official dedication hosted by Mayor John Cooper + the Rep. John Lewis Way Committee Chair Zulfat Suara
  • Commemorative March | Sat., July 17 | Immediately following dedication | All are welcome to join the 1.2-mile march ending at the Ryman Auditorium. 
  • The Celebration | Sat., July 17 | 11 a.m. | Ryman Auditorium | The final event will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham, musical performances by Ruby Amanfu, Leigh Nash, and Matt Maher + a reception to follow. Get tickets.

Additionally a replica of the Greyhound bus ridden by the Freedom Riders will be on display at American Baptist College on Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. + at First Baptist Church Capitol Hill beginning at 4 p.m. through Saturday. 

Free parking will be available at First Horizon Park from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.