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NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening
Race fans, tourists, Charlotte residents: All are invited to a full day of free fun May 11, 2010 outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C., to celebrate its grand opening.

One of the highlights of the daylong event will be a free concert that evening on the Ceremonial Plaza headlined by country music trio Love And Theft, who are preparing to tour with country music superstars Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum. The stop will be a homecoming for one member of the trio, Charlotte native Eric Gunderson, who grew up in the area and attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The band also features members Stephen Barker Liles, of Florida, and Texan Brian Bandas. Lyric Street recording artist Love and Theft’s debut album, World Wide Open, includes the hits “Runaway” and “Dancing In Circles.”

“I had the pleasure of seeing Love And Theft perform live at Sprint Sound and Speed in Nashville (Tenn.) this year,” said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “I was not previously familiar with them, and I was absolutely blown away. They were fabulous! Our guests are in for a treat. This is a monumental day in NASCAR and Charlotte history, and it is our privilege to have such a talented trio join us.

“The free concert and all of the free outdoor activities are just small ways we can say thank you to the race fans, Charlotte residents, tourists, NASCAR community, local businesses, elected officials and everyone who has supported this project.”

Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. EDT with all the pomp and circumstance expected of a national tourist attraction. The one-hour ceremony will culminate with NASCAR celebrities, elected officials and other dignitaries officially opening the 150,000-square-foot venue. The opening ceremony will be followed by free outdoor activities from 10 a.m. through the late evening. Activities will include NASCAR celebrities, question-and-answer sessions, strolling entertainment, food vendors, musical entertainment and more.

The star of the show that day will be the NASCAR Hall of Fame itself. Tickets to enter the high-tech, interactive attraction are on sale now and can be purchased at www.NASCARHall.com or by calling 877-231-2010. Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12, and free for children younger than 5. Memberships provide unlimited entry for one year and start at $25 for children and $50 for adults. Group discounts, facility rentals and sponsorships also are available by calling 704-654-4400.

Schedule of Events
Time Event Location Admission
9-10 a.m. Opening Ceremony Ceremonial Plaza Free; No Ticket Required
10 a.m.-8 p.m. Facility Hours NASCAR Hall of Fame Ticket Required
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Outdoor Activities Ceremonial Plaza Free; No Ticket Required
5-8 p.m. Concert Ceremonial Plaza Free; No Ticket Required

The Ceremonial Plaza faces Martin Luther King Boulevard between Caldwell and Brevard. Guests are encouraged to use the Charlotte Area Transit System.
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