Friends of Franklin Parks Lil' Pilgrims

The 2016 Little Pilgrims area is on track to be the most engaging and entertaining area in the entire festival this year! Meet the artists

In addition to renowned children’s musicians, the Little Pilgrim’s Family Stage we will include:

  • On Sunday, we’ll celebrate with the World’s Wyldest Not My Birthday Party, helping all the kids who’ve had a birthday in the last year share a special day together.
  • After each show, the musicians will be available for the kids to meet, and will encourage the youngsters to touch and play their musical instruments.
  • Little pirates will once again be able to climb and play on our Pirate Ship Play Area.
  • Art Wall that anyone will be able to paint on and decorate.
  • We’ve expanded our kids’ activities to include face painting, a balloon artist, and wandering entertainers providing clowning, magic, and juggling for the kids.
  • Our Arts and Crafts area will provide workshops in puppet building, paper airplane folding and coloring, and decorations for our festive Mini Mardi Gras parade!

Friends of Franklin Parks Lil' Pilgrims Lineup


Ralph's World

GRAMMY nominated artist Ralph's World will headline both days where he creates a mega-fun musical planet where kids rock rock rock and dance dance dance to their own delight as well as their parents. It's the creation of Ralph Covert; indie rocker, songwriter, playwright, and children's book author. Ralph's World has appeared on the Disney Channel, headlined at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and the New York Times called him kids music's "Elvis Presley, or at the very least its Elvis Costello."


Jazzy Ash & The Leaping Lizards

Jazzy Ash & The Leaping Lizards invite the whole family to come along in a Crescent City inspired, jazzy music adventure this summer with their mix of gypsy jazz, swing, blues, and Dixieland to encourage kids and their grown-ups to celebrate the music of New Orleans and part of the American folk music heritage. Their energetic show features a live five-piece New Orleans jazz band! Families enjoy their favorite Jazzy Ash songs and hear a live ukulele, guitar, banjo, accordion, fiddle, bass, trombone, sax, washboard and drums. Every musician in the band is also a professional music educator. That means kids get to dance and learn about New Orleans music & culture, all at the same time!


The Happy Racers

Live onstage is where the REAL fun happens with The Happy Racers, where mature men become goofy boys making boys and girls (and adults too) smile, laugh and dance. When Nathan Meckel (lead vocals, guitar), Mark Niemiec (drums, vocals) and Layne Ihde (guitar, trumpet, vocals) hit the stage, all bets are off, giddiness ensues and the freewheeling fun begins. Three grown men, accomplished musicians (Niemiec even has a Grammy nomination), leap out of their adult realities, get in touch with their inner goofball and jam on tunes that make music a blast again – for them and those who can’t get enough of their childlike magic. The Happy Racers first captured everyone’s imagination with their hit 2012 indie debut Ready Set Go, which got off to a quick start thanks to the extensive airplay for the track “Lovabye Dragon” on XM/Sirius’ Kids Place Live, the country’s most popular radio station. They’re currently in the studio working (not that they ever really “work”) on their highly anticipated follow-up, Sidewalk Chalk, set for release later in 2016.


Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers

Aaarrrggghhh! The fun doesn't stop there! There will be a special performance by Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers aboard the Pirate Ship playground located in the Little Pilgrim's area. Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers are a wild band of accomplished Nashville musicians who play a rollicking mix or piratical sing-alongs, rousing historical rave-ups, afro-cuban tingled ballads, and bluesy Irish jigs, dressed as pirates!


Magic by Michael Dardant

New Orleans comedy magician, Michael Dardant, is the perfect performer on any stage! As a comedian he catches any crowd off guard with a genuine Cajun flair. As a magician, his original and stunning sleight of hand is enthralling! As an actor he has captivated millions with his fun and quirky characters! Recently, the world of magic witnessed a strive for stardom as Michael took on the challenge of many prestigious magic competitions and in two years has accumulated over twenty first place and championship awards, making him the one of the most decorated magicians in history and qualifying him to represent the United States in the World Championships of Magic in Italy, July 2015.


Mr. Steve

Mr. Steve, The Music Man creates high-quality, socially conscious music for children! Writing and performing original songs, Mr. Steve is a preschool music teacher who hosts his own morning radio show on Lightning 100 called The Early Birds with Mr. Steve. Featuring special guests, fun themes, and giveaway prizes each week, The Early Birds reaches out to both kids and adults, providing positive, educational content to listen to on the way to school and work! Mr. Steve has become the premier performer for children in the Nashville area, hosting and curating the Kids Music Fest at Live on the Green each year and performing at the Governor’s Mansion, The Nashville Symphony, and Musicians Corner in the past. Mr. Steve recently released his second children’s album, Earth Party!, which is featured in the kids music playlist on Spotify.


Casey Campbell

Nashville Native Casey Campbell will be bringing his fresh perspective to the traditional mandolin style. In his playing you will hear a mixture of tremolo, cross-picking and triple-stops that are sure to make you tap your toes and crack a smile. He is the son of the late, great fiddler Jimmy Campbell. In addition to his many performances around Nashville, he has presented his History of Bluegrass show many places including the Grand Ol' Opry Museum.


Make Your Pilgrimage

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September 24 and 25

The Park at Harlinsdale - Franklin, Tennessee