When searching for a place to capture the essence of small town Americana, I happened upon Pegram, Tennessee. On a good day the population is just over 2,000 people and every last one of them must have come out to this Independence Day Parade along with many from neighboring towns. It’s a big deal.
It doesn’t get more Americana than this.
Located 25 minutes southwest of Nashville, this small town is marked by one main market. The definition of Americana, as a flag hung by the door. Inside, it was like the place that time forgot; selling candy cigarettes, homemade burgers and a smokey cheese pizza that will knock you on your ass.
As soon as I arrived, I felt as though I stepped into a Chevy commercial.
In a word, Pegram is ideal. It’s exactly what you picture the 4th of July being. It seems so innocent.
Outside, the street was flooded with people dressed in red, white and blue. Flags on shirts and sticks. All of the kids had bags in anticipation of candy tosses — something you only see in small towns.
Right in the middle of the parade, a train ran through. They loved it.
Quick quiz, what’s more Americana? Popsicles, fire trucks, or Elvis impersonators?
The Americana was everywhere. And the small town hospitality was just as pervasive. Everyone was so friendly. Clearly, this is the event of the year in this part of the country.
Here’s to the people and spirit of small town America.
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