My mom and step-dad Pete decided to take a trip to Nashville and go to the Grand Ole Opry, the following is a guest review written by Mr. Pete about his and my mom’s experience on their recent trip. I have always wanted to visit the Grand Ole Opry and hopefully someday I will get the chance as well.
We decided to take a trip to Nashville, TN. to go to the Grand Ole Opry.
So how do you get there?
We decided to drive since Nashville is served by several interstates. I 40 runs east and west and I 65 runs north and south. I 24 also runs SE to NW thru Nashville. We drove the 460 miles in approximately 9 hours and since most of it was interstate, it was an easy drive. We made 2 stops to eat and stop at the Tennessee rest stop.
Once we checked into the motel on the north side of town we still had several hours to wait before we had to go pick up tickets to the show. We got on 155 (Briley Parkway) which is a freeway type highway that runs right by the Grand Ole Opry and got off at exit 12. WE ate at a nearby restaurant and went to the Grand Ole Opry to pick up the tickets inside the opry building. This building is inside the bend in the Cumberland River. The river flooded in 2010 and the inside of the building was under 4 feet of water. The interior is refurbished and they explained that the circle on the stage floor was rescued, refurbished, and replaced on the current stage for continuity purposes. As Little Jimmie Dickens stated “the circle was not broken.” The circle is where performers stand while performing at the opry.
Tickets are reserved with a name, and a confirmation number is all you need to obtain your tickets. We obtained our tickets before the auditorium opened and it took about 3 minutes to get them. The auditorium opens an hour before the 7PM start so we had an hour to kill before the performance.
We took pictures of the guitar outside. It’s quite large and there was a Halloween display at the front entrance. Also at the front entrance were two greeters. One was a troubadour and the other was dressed as the late great Minnie Pearl replete with the famous Howdyyyyeeeee! You can have your picture taken with either of the greeters. It is interesting to crowd watch while waiting for the auditorium to open and you can continue to do that once inside.
Seating is assigned and there is an elevator but if anyone is handicapped I would recommend they stay on the ground floor. There were a number of people in wheel chairs and various other forms of disability in the people attending the show. There were a number of chartered buses from different states and Canada. Various groups and individuals were recognized for wedding anniversaries, marriage, unusual distance traveled, etc during the show.
The woman dressed as Minnie Pearl gave us the ground rules about the show. This was a Saturday night show so it was on radio as well as live. There were numerous commercials and a radio announcer was on the left side of the stage. Pictures are encouraged and flash is authorized but visual and sound recording is not authorized. You can get up and go down to the stage and take pictures. You can also get a back stage pass and watch the show from back stage but we did not do that. The program is divided up into 4 parts and each part is hosted by a different well known entertainer, so the show lasts for approximately 2 hours.
The show goes on at 7PM because the radio part is on the air live and has to meet schedule. Our show started with Little Jimmy Dickens and the radio part was sponsored by Dollar General. It also included Jimmy C. Newman and Joey and Rory and lasted from 7:00 to 7:30
The 7:30 to 8:00 part was hosted by Mike Scnider and sponsored by Bass Pro Shops and included Jim Ed Brown and Elizabeth Cook
The 8:00 to 8:30 portion was hosted by Jean Shepard and sponsored by Craker Barrel and included Jesse McReynolds, The secret sisters, and Opry Square Dancers.
The 8:30 to 9:00 part was hosted by bill Anderson and sponsored by Humana and included Jim Lauderdale and The Oak Ridge Boys.
I did not list the individual songs that each artist performed but it would be hard to forget the Oak Ridge Boy’s rendition of “Elvira.”
Getting in and out of the show is easy and quick. There are 2 entrances-exits into and out of the complex. The complex includes the Opry shopping center, aquarium , the Grand Opryland Resort, General Jackson Steamboat ( I told you it was near the river) etc. There is plenty of shopping and souvenir stores too.
The Grand Ole Opry provided my mom and step-dad with comped passes to the show through Life With 4 Boys. This review is written entirely in their own words and was not compensated in any way.