Opening celebrations for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum are going on this weekend in downtown Bristol.
The museum opened to the public on Friday at 10 a.m. Saturday, several legislators and members of the local government, along with VIP guests, toured the museum before a special ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe got a special tour of the museum before the ceremonies, and he says it will draw hundreds of thousands of people to Virginia. "It's such a huge economic driver, over the next 5 years about 50 million dollars of economic activity. It really helps our tourism, which is the second biggest industry that we have in the Commonwealth of Virginia," he says.
Special guests at the ribbon-cutting ceremony included Dr. Ralph Stanley. Bristol, Virginia Mayor Catherine Brillhart announced that Aug. 2 is now Ralph Stanley Day. Another special guest was Georgia Warren, the last surviving performer of the 1927 Bristol Sessions.
Warren is 98 years old now, and she told News 5 she still remembers the day when she and 19 other singers recorded music. She was 12 years old at the time.
Celebrations continue through Sunday. The museum is open from 1 to 5 p.m. and tickets are $13. Starting at 7 p.m., there will be live music at the Paramount Center for the Arts - tickets are $35.
The concert features Mountain Stage with Larry Groce at the Paramount, with Martina McBride, Carlene Carter, Doyle Lawson and Dale Jett. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.