Over 450 friends and neighbors celebrated the grand reopening of Nashville’s iconic dragon sculpture in Fannie Mae Dees Park on Sunday, May 20.
The opening ceremony, which coincided with the season’s first Dragon Music Sunday, included live music, activities for children and a great lineup of speakers, including:
- Mayor David Briley
- Nathan Green, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs at Vanderbilt
- Monique Odom, Director of Metro Parks
- Tom Cash, Chairman of the Hillsboro–West End Neighborhood Association
Mayor Briley and Councilmember Burkley Allen cut the ribbon to officially reopen the Dragon to the public. Hundreds of children immediately flooded the park and climbed all over the newly renovated sculpture.
“The Hillsboro–West End Neighborhood Association raised nearly $200,000 to restore the Dragon, thanks to many donors,” said Martha Stinson. “Vanderbilt was especially supportive with a major gift to kick off our fundraising, as well as another gift in the end to help us reach our goal.”
In addition to the support from Vanderbilt University, the HWEN is thankful for the support of:
- Anne and Charles Roos
- Belmont–Hillsboro Neighbors
- Carell Family LLC
- The Hillsboro–West End Neighborhood Association
- Houser Charitable Foundation
- Irish Bahan Park, in Memoriam
- Karyn M. Frist
- Martha Rivers Ingram
- Nashville Parks Foundation
- Vanderbilt Medical Center
- The Village Fund
- Village 21/GBT Realty
- Nearly 1,000 neighbors and friends of the Dragon
Most of the repairs have been made, but work is still underway. Additional funds will be set aside in a restricted account for ongoing maintenance to keep the Dragon healthy for years to come. Donations can be made online at the GoFundMe page or via check to HWEN/Save Our Dragon and mailed to HWEN, P.O. Box 120521, Nashville, TN 37212.
About Nashville’s Dragon
Nashville’s Dragon sculpture was commissioned by Metro Parks and installed in 1981 as the centerpiece of a new park in Hillsboro Village. It was the result of a community project led by renowned national artist the late Pedro Silva, and involved hundreds of volunteers of all ages coming together to create the colorful mosaic façade. The Dragon had been fenced off and closed for much-needed repairs since May 2016. Thank you for coming together as we continue to Save Our Dragon. For more information, visit www.gofundme.com/SaveOurDragon or www.facebook.com/SaveOurDragon/.
About Hillsboro–West End Neighborhood Association
HWEN, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 1975 to build community, preserve historic character and promote civic engagement. The neighborhood comprises Hillsboro Village, Fannie Mae Dees Park (aka Dragon Park), and the historic residential district between West End Avenue and 21st Avenue/Hillsboro Road inside I-440. HWEN, in partnership with Metro Parks, is spearheading the fundraising and restoration of the Dragon, a highly visible Nashville landmark and popular Hillsboro Village attraction. For more information, visit www.hwen.org.
About Metro Parks
It is the mission of Metro Parks to equitably provide everyone in Nashville with an inviting and sustainable network of parks and greenways that offer health, wellness and quality of life through recreation, conservation and community. The department oversees nearly 16,000 acres of open space, including 185 parks and 86miles of greenway.
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