Boulevard Bolt

This is the artwork that is on this year’s Boulevard Bolt T-shirt. The Bolt is virtual this year, but everyone who registers will receive a T-shirt.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is to walk the Thanksgiving Day Boulevard Bolt along Belle Meade Boulevard with family and friends.

It is a wonderful way to start my Thanksgiving Day: getting 5 miles under my belt before I start feasting on Thanksgiving fare, enjoying live music, seeing costumed runners and bumping into old friends along the way.

Plus, it is good to know that the considerable proceeds from our registrations help local homeless organizations do the good work they do.

Last year, when the Bolt was made virtual because of COVID-19 concerns, some friends and I sent in our donations and then took our own 5-mile walk on Thanksgiving morning. It was fun, but we have all been looking forward to getting back in action on the boulevard this year.

But I just heard that we will have to improvise again because the organizers have made the tough decision to keep the 2021 Bolt virtual.

Spokesperson Molly Craig said the Bolt committee faced a tough decision. “There were (COVID) concerns, and some said, ‘Throw caution to the wind.’

“I wish it were as easy as a mask and a waiver, but it is not,” she said. “But it came down to safety.”

The website says: “The 2021 Bolt Steering Committee had several discussions about the difference between the ‘could’ and the ‘should’ and the ‘What can we do?’ vs. ‘What should we do?’ Ultimately, we had hoped those things would end up the same; however, the discussion always came back to the safety of thousands of participants and hundreds of volunteers — and to do our part, the decision was made to go virtual one more year.”

Craig said a deciding factor was that the Bolt is a holiday event and that people leave the race and go to family gatherings where there might be people who are particularly at risk for COVID.

The good news is that you can still register ( and donate to help the agencies that work with homeless people. And yes, if you register, the organizers will send you one of the 2021 Boulevard Bolt T-shirts.

Craig said online registration ($40-$45, depending on when you register) is open through Nov. 25. She said, “Every effort will be made to send Bolt T-shirts prior to Thanksgiving for all those who register by Oct. 31,” and if you register after that, your shirt will be sent after Thanksgiving.

You can also send a check to Boulevard Bolt, 222 Belle Meade Blvd., 37205.

Craig noted that “100% of your donation is tax deductible.”

Maybe virtual is not so bad. I’m planning my Thanksgiving morning route now. But let’s hope for the real thing in 2022!

Mary Hance, who has four decades of journalism experience in the Nashville area, writes a weekly Ms. Cheap column. She also appears on Thursdays on “Talk of the Town” on NewsChannel 5. Reach her at and follow her on Facebook as

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