Many of you may know Willie Nelson as an American songwriter and guitarist. However, over here at ATX Gossip we like to think of him as the most patriotic Austinite!

Nelson is both a black belt and a cowboy, and well into his mid 80s he’s still going strong as a music artist. With over 300 songs, Nelson is one of the most widely known country singers in the music industry. 

But what makes Willie Nelson so patriotic you ask? We’ll tell you!

Rumor has it that Willie Nelson once smoked marijuana with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s son on the roof of the White House! In September of 1980, Nelson was invited to the White House to perform a duet with then-First Lady Rosalynn Carter. In his 1988 autobiography Nelson wrote of how he wandered up to the roof of the White House “with a beer in one hand and a fat Austin Torpedo in the other.” He explained how he was on the roof with a friend who’s since been confirmed as James Earl Carter III. Now how’s that for gossip?!

Other than Nelson’s White House escapades he also happens to host a family friendly picnic on the 4th of July! This year will be his 5th annual 4th of July Picnic hosted at Circuit of the Americas’ Austin360 Amphitheater (though the event dates back to 1973!). This year’s party not only features our favorite outlaw but also includes performances from Luke Combs, Nathaniel Rateliff, Alison Krauss and more.

The picnic performances start at 11:30 a.m. and last all day long with a firework show to end the night. Food and drink options are available for purchase and water is FREE with bottle refill stations located throughout the grounds. 

So whether you’re a fan of country, a fan of Willie, or even just a fan of being an American, this event caters to everyone. 

Tickets start at $45 and are still available. You can purchase yours and learn more about the event here.

What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in the company of Willie Nelson, our pick for the most patriotic Austinite.


Want more Willie? Check out our preview of Willie’s new album “Ride Me Back Home.”