The Grand Opening of The Statue of Liberty in NY Harbor

The Grand Opening of The Statue of Liberty in NY Harbor, was dedicated on October 28, 1886, in a ceremony known as its official inauguration. The event marked the completion of the statue's construction and its opening to the public. The Statue of Liberty is the only symbol of its kind in the world, representing freedom and democracy., the best one-stop-shop on the net for all your groundbreakings, grand openings, and other corporate and military functions and events, is pleased to highlight this bit of history about our industry and hope it inspires event planners and corporate function organizers when working on a launch or grand opening event.

two grand opening balloons

The grand opening ceremony of the Statue of Liberty was held on Liberty Island (formerly known as Bedloe’s Island), where the statue is situated in New York Harbor. The historic ceremony was attended by various dignitaries from both France and the United States. French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who designed the statue, and Gustave Eiffel, the engineer responsible for the statue's internal structure, were among the French attendees. Former President of the United States and Civil War general, Ulysses S. Grant, also attended the ceremony as did Emma Lazarus, the American poet who wrote the famous sonnet “The New Colossus,” which is inscribed on a plaque inside the pedestal of the statue. Red, white, and blue, the national colors of the American and the French flags spotted every space where the onlookers had gathered for the momentous occasion. For a magnificent dedication ceremony, or grand opening ceremony, view our choices of pre-printed grand opening ceremonial ribbons in widths perfect for your occasion, or shop our custom printed ceremonial ribbons personalized and available in widths up to 12” and up o 25 yards.

wide ribbon image chart

The dedication ceremony at the grand opening of the Statue of Liberty included the unveiling of the statue's face, which had been covered by an enormous French flag. The formal dedication involved speeches, music, and a 21-gun salute. As part of the ceremony, the American poet Emma Lazarus recited her famous poem "The New Colossus," which includes the iconic lines, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the United States and was intended to symbolize the enduring friendship between the two nations and the shared values of liberty and freedom. The dedication ceremony was a significant historical event, and the Statue of Liberty has since become one of the most recognizable and enduring symbols of the United States.

2 patriotic ribbons with stars and stripes

While specific details about the exact pieces of music played are not as well-documented, it is known that music was an integral part of the event. During ceremonies of this magnitude, it was customary to include patriotic and celebratory music. John Phillip Souza Marches, anthems, and other classical compositions that conveyed a sense of national pride and unity were likely performed. One notable aspect of the musical program at the dedication was the involvement of the French composer Charles Gounod, who also attended the NY grand opening ceremony. Gounod composed a special cantata, titled "La Liberté éclairant le monde" (Liberty Enlightening the World), for the occasion. This cantata was performed as part of the festivities. In addition to Gounod's composition, it is reasonable to assume that other patriotic tunes from both French and American traditions were included in the musical program, and that same must have included a full orchestra and brass band, for an outstanding and enduring moment in time. The precise details of the musical selections played during the dedication ceremony might be challenging to ascertain due to limited historical documentation, but it can be inferred that the music was carefully chosen to complement the significance of the event and to convey a spirit of liberty and international friendship.

grand opening sign with stanchion posts and balloons

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