The Grand Ole Opry has announced plans for its 98th birthday weekend in October. The famed Nashville institution will host the celebrations from October 4-7, including performances by Lauren Alaina, Crystal Gayle, and Lainey Wilson, all of them members of the Opry.
Also part of the festivities is Opry Community Day, to take place on October 8 for residents of Tennessee, who will have the opportunity to experience the Opry’s popular backstage tour free of charge. Complimentary tours will take place from 10am-4pm on that day, upon presentation of a valid Tennessee state ID. The Opry Plaza will also be transformed into an outdoor party for the occasion, with live music and family activities. Free tickets can be redeemed in person at the Grand Ole Opry box office, or in advance online at opry.com.
Alaina and Wilson will start proceedings with their Wednesday Night Opry show on October 4, while Gayle will be the spotlight artist as Opry Country Classics celebrates Queens of Country on the Thursday.
The birthday events also include a performance and fan Q&A with the Opry NextStage trio Chapel Hart, the Mississippi group who will pay tribute in their show to their favorite female country artists. On the Saturday evening (7), country star Sara Evans will be inducted into the Opry in recognition of her 25-year-plus career, which includes five country chart No.1s and both CMA and ACM Awards.
The Opry Celebrates 98! birthday package includes a ticket to the Opry show on the 7th; access to the Chapel Hart event, the daytime tour and a special Opry Picnic Lunch, all on the 7th, plus an exclusive Opry Celebrates 98! poster.
The Opry is widely seen to have officially debuted on November 28, 1925, the day that George D. Hay, announcer and program director, launched the WSM Barn Dance with the 77-year-old fiddle player Uncle Jimmy Thompson.
Listen to uDiscover Music’s A Night At The Opry playlist, featuring live recordings as well as studio tracks by key Opry artists.