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In a simple but symbolic ceremony, the famed circle of wood was returned to the Grand Ole Opry stage at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Wednesday (Aug. 25). The historic, six-foot circle, the Opry House's signature piece, had been covered by water during the May floods in Nashville, but was rescued and later refurbished.The Opry House itself has been closed since that time because of extensive flood damage and is undergoing repairs and renovations.
On hand for the ceremony were Brad Paisley, Grand Ole Opry mainstay Little Jimmy Dickens, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, executives of the Grand Ole Opry and invited guests and media. Brad and Little Jimmy removed the black covering that had been protecting the circle, then helped place it back onto the center of the stage. "That circle means the world to all of us who love country music," Brad told the assembled crowd before the ceremony. "Keeping this bond with the past is what separates the Opry from all other musical institutions. I am proud to be a part of this."
Grand Ole Opry Group President Steve Buchanan also announced that the Grand Ole Opry House will host its first Opry performance since the flood on Tuesday, Sept. 28. The Opry has been airing from other venues during the Opry House renovations, including the Ryman Auditorium and the War Memorial Auditorium.
Already announced for the Sept. 28 show are Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and others. In addition to the Sept. 28 return, the Opry will host a a Spirit of Nashville Day, Saturday, Oct. 2, where the public will get a look at the newly renovated Grand Ole Opry House. The celebration will include a performance by The Band Perry at the Opry Plaza stage.
Update: The Sept. 28 Grand Ole Opry show, welcoming the Opry's return to the Grand Ole Opry House, will be televised by GAC. More details will be announced.