(ODD)yssey

You have to see this 150-foot sea serpent to believe it

Sweetums and I had been missing the mini road trips we’d largely curtailed during the pandemic so we decided to drive to Nashville on I-65 and drive back along the Natchez Trace, ending in Florence, Ala. We’ve driven the remainder of the Trace, which is a beautiful drive. Of course, I didn’t want to miss out on seeing a couple of oversized or weird things, so I put three Nashville oddities on my list and we headed out. Turns out, we stopped at six really cool places. (I’ll post about the other stops later in the week).

The first stop was Fannie Mae Dees Park, known locally as Dragon Park. It is home to a massive, 150-foot-long concrete creature covered in mosaic tiles and filled with wacky faces. The “dragon” is actually two sea serpents entwined, according to NashvillePublicArt.com.

When we were looking for the park, we noticed the nearby elementary school has a sea serpent mascot on its side. So fun!

The sea serpent art was created in 1981 by artist Pedro Silva. Local residents came to paint on tiles Silva used to decorate the serpents. He created all kinds of designs on the sides of the serpents, including faces, pirate ships, fish, flowers, penguins, mermaids … all kinds of fun things.

The largest serpent makes an oval in the center of the park; a smaller serpent arches over the larger one. The art installation was renovated a few years ago. A colorful rubber floor surrounds it so that children can play on a soft surface.

This is such a fun stop, especially if you have kids. The park is located at 2400 Blakemore Avenue in Nashville. Here’s another tip: There’s a 16-foot whisk nearby, on the campus of Vanderbilt University. You’ll find it at 200 21st Avenue South, Nashville. See photo below.

The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic (and smaller serpent) in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
The sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Kelly Kazek)
Kelly and Wil with the sea serpent mosaic in Fannie Mae Dees Park, aka “Dragon Park,” in Nashville, Tenn. (Wil Elrick)

Check out this 16-foot whisk sculpture nearby:

Kelly with whisk sculpture at 200 Twenty-First Ave., Nashville, Tenn. (Wil Elrick)

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