West Virginia University fans traveling to Nashville for the third annual Music City Bowl on Dec. 28 can expect to hear a lot of country musicmaybe even some down-home tunes from a West Virginia native.

Glen Dales Brad Paisley , who is topping the country music billboard chart with his No. 1 hit”We Danced,”is expected to headline a 10 a.m.-1 p.m. pre-game event at downtown Nashvilles historic Wildhorse Saloon, a well-known entertainment landmark, according to Steve Douglas, Alumni Association executive director.

The Dec. 28 WVU Alumni Association-sponsored event is being billed as the”Mountaineer Music Mash.”It is limited to the first 2,000 people who make reservations. Cost of the event will be $15, and to reserve a spot call 304-293-4731 or pick up tickets at WVU s Mountaineer Fan Center at Nashvilles Hilton Suites Hotel on Dec. 27.

The 3-story Wildhorse Saloon advertises a”kickin”dance floor and stage and was the site for TNN s live dance program for many years, Douglas said.

“This will be WVU s official pre-game gathering place,”Douglas noted. In addition to Brad Paisley (or in the event he is unable, another top country music star), there will be:

  • Special appearances by the WVU Pep Band, Cheerleaders and Mountaineer
  • Exclusive”Thanks Coach”buttons in honor of retiring coach Don Nehlens final game, following 21 successful seasons and 13 bowl appearances
  • Free WVU giveaways

“We want there to be no mistake that Mountaineer fans are alive and well and happy to be in Nashville for the Music City Bowl,”Douglas said.

WVU s ever-popular Mountaineer Fan Center will be open for one day onlyWednesday, Dec. 27from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. in the Grand Ballrooms of the Hilton Suites-Nashville Downtown located on 4th Ave.

The official gathering and meeting place for Mountaineer fans will feature free commemorative bowl pins to the first 1,000 fans who sign the official”Don Nehlen Scrapbook.”The center will also include:

  • Photos with the coachor a cardboard cut-out of Nehlen
  • A Mountaineer Market to purchase WVU clothing and other items
  • 2000 game highlights and those from past seasons
  • WVU giveaways
  • General WVU and Nashville Information
  • Bowl Event Information
  • Ticket Sales to Mountaineer Music Mash
  • Refreshments

At 6 p.m. on Dec. 27, fans will want to gather on 2nd Ave. for the Music City Bowl”Battle of the Bands.”The Mountaineer Marching Band and the Ole Miss Band will march down 2nd Ave. to Commerce Street to signal the start of a huge Music City Block Party that lasts until the wee hours of the morning.

On game day, Dec. 28, in addition to the Alumni Association pre-game”Mountaineer Music Mash”at the Wildhorse Saloon, fans can stop by the Tennessee Fox Trot Carousel on 1st Ave. from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. to pick up free pom-poms and balloons (for the first 2,000 people)just prior to the Music City Bowl”Fan Walk,”said Deborah Fusco of WVU special events. The Mountaineer Market will also be set up there for purchasing WVU items from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

The”Fan Walk”begins at 12:30 p.m. for the Ole Miss following; Mountaineer fans are asked to gather at the Court of Flags on 1st Ave. at 1 p.m. for the approximately 30-minute walk to Adelphia Coliseum. The marching band, cheerleaders and Mountaineer will lead the entourage down 1st Ave. And across the Woodland Street Bridge and Cumberland River to the stadium.

“For fans participating, youll want to wear your walking shoes, because this is a jaunta fun one though,”said Fusco.

WVU plans to also have a pom-pom distribution area at the West Gate of Adelphia Coliseum for those who go directly to the stadium, she added.

Other official Music City Bowl activities on Dec. 28 include:

  • 12:30 p.m.Pre-game concert with”Jimmy Hall and the Prisoners of Love,”Lot A, Adelphia Coliseum
  • 2:40 p.m. WVU Marching Band Pre-Game Field Performance, Adelphia Coliseum

(NOTE: The WVU band will not perform at halftime.)

  • 3 p.m. (CST)Music City Bowl; halftime performance by Country Music Awards 2000 Duo of the Year Montgomery Gentry

    p. SIDEBAR :

  • National Travel Service is handling official land and air bowl travel packages for WVU . For information, call 1-800-624-8283; for Music City Bowl tickets ($25 to $60) call 1-800-WVU-GAME. For Alumni Association and Fan Center information, call 1-888-WVU 2 BOWL .
  • WVU (6-5) from the Big East conference plays the Mississippi Rebels (7-4) of the South Eastern Conference at 3 p.m. CST (4 p.m. EST ) at Adelphia Coliseum. It is the first meeting between the two schools. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN .
  • The teams are expected to arrive in Nashville on Christmas Day, and may attend the Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans at Adelphia Coliseum. Both teams will practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, before playing on Thursday afternoon.
  • Team headquartersDoubletree Hotel.
  • Average temperature in Nashville this time of year is 49 degrees during the day; 29 degrees at night.
  • For information on Nashville landmarks like the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, Opry Mills and other activities and landmarks, visit the web atwww.nashvillecvb.com.