NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Swimville, the two-day festival featuring Sports Illustrated models alongside some of the top names in country music, is taking over downtown Nashville.
Attendees can purchase the highly-anticipated swimsuit issue at the event and have it signed by the featured models.
“I’ll definitely be getting the magazine today. Hopefully I’ll be getting an autograph if there’s not that big of a line,” one fan told News 2.
Country crooner Chris Young is also scheduled to perform at the event Thursday afternoon. Click here for a full schedule of events.
Around 15,000 people are expected to attend the free event each day.
Each year Sports Illustrated sells about 2 million copies of the issue, with many of the magazine’s loyal fans being women.
This year, for the first time ever, the magazine has included its first plus-size model, Ashley Graham, who is a size 14, the average size of an American woman.
Many women News 2 spoke with said they don’t like the idea of calling Graham plus-size but feel like it is a step in the right direction.
“I think it’s awesome. I think we need more of that. It helps people with their self-esteem. Which is a big issue, especially with high school girls,” said fan Anna Gross.
Fan Kate Moore added, “Most of America, we’re not stick-thin. We’re going back to the 90’s where it is that all-American, raw, natural sex appeal.”
Many women added they would like to see more size diversity in the magazine in the future.