For media inquiries, please contact Michael Graham at
michael.graham@dvl.com or 615-244-1818.

ABC’S "NASHVILLE" ACTOR ERIC CLOSE NAMED GRAND MARSHAL OF 61st ANNUAL PIEDMONT NATURAL GAS NASHVILLE CHRISTMAS PARADE

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 6, 2013) - Television and film actor Eric Close, who plays Mayor Teddy Conrad on ABC’s hit television show "Nashville," will serve as Parade Grand Marshal for the 61st annual Piedmont Natural Gas Nashville Christmas Parade. The parade kicks off the holiday season in downtown Nashville on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, at 7 p.m. The parade theme this year is "Sharing the Joy of Giving."

"Piedmont Natural Gas is proud to continue this Nashville holiday tradition," said Stephen Francescon, Community Relations Manager, Tennessee, at Piedmont Natural Gas. "This is the 61st year for the Nashville Christmas parade, and the people of Nashville and all of Middle Tennessee have enjoyed and supported the parade with huge turnouts every year. We are especially excited to have ‘Nashville’s’ Eric Close join us as Grand Marshal."

This year’s night of festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree in Public Square Plaza in Downtown Nashville. Mayor Karl Dean will be joined by Eric Close, Piedmont Natural Gas executives and other special guests. The tree lighting will be immediately followed with fireworks. The parade begins at 7 p.m. at Public Square Plaza and travels down Second Ave. and up Broadway to Ninth Ave.

"The Nashville Christmas Parade is a great family-friendly tradition that brings people out to enjoy our beautiful downtown," Mayor Karl Dean said. "With the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony on the same night, these festivities are a great way for our city to kick off the holiday season. This year’s Mayor’s tree lighting will take on a whole new level of excitement since it will include an appearance by another mayor – the mayor of the ‘Nashville’ TV show. I want to thank Eric Close for serving as grand marshal of the parade and being part of our Nashville community in this special way."

All proceeds from the parade will benefit Piedmont’s Share the Warmth program, which assists local low-income families who need help paying energy bills at any point during the year, regardless of their energy source. Since 2003, Piedmont Natural Gas and its customers, along with the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation, have donated more than $1.5 million to Share the Warmth energy assistance funds.

To stay up to date on parade happenings and announcements, visit the Piedmont Natural Gas Nashville Christmas Parade Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nashvillechristmasparade. Additional information on how to participate in this year’s parade is also available at www.nashvillechristmasparade.com.


About Eric Close
After starring for almost a decade on CBS’ "Without a Trace" and "Now and Again," Eric Close once again teamed up with the network as the lead of their series "Chaos." Recently, he appeared in four episodes of the critically acclaimed television series "Suits," opposite Gabriel Macht and Patrick Adams. Prior to his longtime series work, Close starred in the series "The Magnificent Seven," "Dark Skies" and "McKenna," while taking on such long-form features as "Seven Deadly Sins," "Hercules," "Follow the Stars Home," "The Stranger Beside Me," "Long Island Fever," "Without Consent" and "Unanswered Prayers," which was produced by Garth Brooks and based on his hit song of the same title. Close was also in the Golden Globe-nominated miniseries "Taken," executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, and his feature credits include "Saving Angelo," "Alvarez & Cruz," "Liberty Maine," "The Sky is Falling," "Taking Liberty" and "American Me."

Close graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Southern California in 1989. He married his wife, Keri, in 1995 and has two daughters. He and his family love philanthropy and traveling the world. Close is a sportsman, preferring outdoor sports such as rock climbing, snow skiing, tennis, golf, sailing, surfing, scuba diving and fly fishing. He also enjoys reading historical fiction. He can be followed on Twitter @EricRClose.

About Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy services company primarily engaged in the distribution of natural gas to more than one million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation utility customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including customers served by municipalities who are wholesale customers. Our subsidiaries are invested in joint venture, energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural gas marketing, and regulated interstate natural gas transportation and storage and intrastate natural gas transportation businesses. More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available on the Internet at http://www.piedmontng.com/.