Nashville's 'Big Bash' makes a big difference for the hungry following New Year's Eve

Posted at 4:30 PM, Jan 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-02 19:16:57-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville rang in the New Year with a bang.

"Well the weather always plays a big part in it. So No. 1: weather cooperated," said Deana Ivey, the president of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. "It was such a nice night. But the talent that we had on the stage was incredible."

New Year's Eve Live: Nashville's Big Bash saw a record-breaking turnout of 210,000 people, surpassing the 2019 record of just over 200,000 people.

"It was a good night and everybody was safe and that was the most important thing for us was that they were safe and had a good time," said Ivey. While the night might be over, that good continues to spread throughout the community.

"We rescued lunch and dinner each day from the 29th, 30th and 31st," said founder of Care Kitchen Outreach, Ellen Camacho.

The organization collects leftover food from major events like the New Year's bash and donates it in Nashville.

"There's over 300,000 [people] going to sleep hungry and it's mostly children," said Camacho. "So we as Care Kitchen Outreach want to chip away at food insecurity here in Nashville."

Care Kitchen Outreach collected more than 2,600 pounds of food from the Big Bash. The recovered food provided 5,000 meals to feed the hungry.

Now tourism officials anticipate bigger things to come in the new year. "So right now the forecasting looks like we'll be up about 10% for 2023," said Ivey.

Organizers plan to finalize tear-downs and have Bicentennial Mall State Park cleaned up by the weekend.