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Brown County Breaks Ground On Maple Leaf Performing Arts Center

Co-President Barry Herring gave a remark with his Maple Leaf management group. (Zach Herndon, WFIU/WTIU News)

Brown County leaders broke ground Tuesday on Maple Leaf, a new 2,000-seat performing arts venue they hope will help boost local tourism.

Dozens of local officials and residents gathered on the west side of Nashville with shovels to celebrate the beginning of construction on the project.

The center is slated to open by July 2019.

Maple Leaf Management Group Co-President Barry Herring says the venue will appeal to all ages through a variety of music genres, including country, contemporary rock n’ roll, classic and jazz.

Herring says tourism in Brown County dropped about 40 percent after the Little Nashville Opry burned down as the result of arson in 2009.

Herring hopes the Maple Leaf will help turn things around.

“We’re thinking now with our venue being a little bit bigger and open to more genres of music, we think it’s even going to do better,” he says. “I just think the boom for the economy is going to be amazing.”

Herring says the addition of new tourist destinations, such as Maple Leaf and Hard Truth Hills, will be a shot in the arm for Brown County tourism.

He says he hopes the new venue could fill the blanks in winter months and balance out the tourism year.

Local residents and officials engaged in the groundbreaking ceremony. (Zach Herndon, WFIU/WTIU News)

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