Fiddlers Grove Historic Village Foundation President Pat Ryan, surrounded by Wilson County Promotions officials and grove volunteers and supporters, cuts the ribbon marking the reopening of the popular attraction Tuesday after it was heavily damaged by the March 3 tornado.

Tuesday marked a milestone for Fiddlers Grove Historic Village, which was heavily damaged by the March 3 tornado. A ribbon cutting was held to commemorate the reopening of the popular attraction on the fairgrounds in Lebanon.

Grove volunteers, supporters, public officials and other gathered under leaden skies to celebrate the step toward normalcy in what has been a decidedly abnormal four months.

Grove Director Gwen Scott said she is pleased to see booking for weddings and family reunions coming in.

“We even have a couple of school tours scheduled,” she said. “We’re ready for business.”

Wilson County Promotions President Randall Clemons gave the crowd a brief recounting of the grove’s founding, from the concept in 1989 to groundbreaking in 1991 to becoming home to 22 historic buildings in just three years.

“It’s truly been a success for Wilson County in preserving its history,” he said.

Pat Ryan, president of the grove’s foundation, said 31 buildings were damaged and five were destroyed by the tornado, which struck in the early morning hours of March 3. The exact cost of the repairs is not yet tallied, but Wilson County Promotions Executive Director Helen McPeak said it’s certainly more than $500,000, most of which has been covered by insurance.

McPeak, Ryan, Scott and Clemons all praised the volunteers, who not only work to make the grove special, but who turned out after the tornado to help with the clean up and have been hard at work ever since.

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