BRISTOL, Tenn. - The celebration of Bristol's musical heritage took another step forward Tuesday with the ribbon-cutting of the Appalachian Cultural Music Association's Mountain Music Museum.
It's been almost a year since it was announced the museum was moving from the Bristol Mall to downtown.
The unity and solidarity of all of Bristol was evident as the ribbon was cut on the new location for the Appalachian Cultural Music Association's museum.
It's been just about a year since the association began renovations of a storefront next to the 620 State Street Foundation's site.
The year-long renovation doesn't match the years of planning and anticipation of highlighting Bristol's musical heritage. "There are so many people, for so many years, 15-plus years that have been working to make all this happen. What you're seeing today people have been working on for 15 years. The great thing is those people and the community are starting to come together," downtown developer Allen Hurley said.
Despite all of the work that's been done by professionals and all of the association volunteers, there's still more to come. "Right here where we're standing we'll have the Mountain Music Mercantile. Scott Shumaker from Marion is going to run that, and out front in what we're call the 'fish bowl' will be the Tri Cities Topgun WPWT broadcasting live with speakers out on State Street," ACMA president Tim White said.
Having a radio station downtown on State Street has long been the hope for station owner Ken Hill. He too has watched the rebirth of downtown surrounding Bristol's musical heritage. "I think it's not because it happened overnight, but because it happened over 30 and 40 years. It's taken a long time to get us here but everybody is working together and that's what it takes, everybody working together to make it happen," Hill says.
And it's the music and the history that continues to drive a thriving downtown.