What Is the Purpose of a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony?

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are a symbolic part of many grand opening events. They are not limited to only business grand openings, but also are held at such places as museums, churches, public offices and private associations.

  1. History

    • Ribbon-cutting ceremonies have been presented for well over a century.


    • The purpose of the ceremony is to attract visitors to the location or business. It is a promotional event.


    • The details of the actual ribbon-cutting ceremony vary by location. Often food and games are provided, tours of the facility are conducted, and speeches are presented.

    Cutting the Ribbon

    • When the ribbon-cutting ceremony is ready to begin, the company owner or president or an authorized representative is accompanied by other people (sometimes employees, celebrities or public officials) in front of the public in attendance. After a speech is made, ceremonial scissors are used to cut a large ribbon. Often journalists are present to photograph, film and publicize the event.


    • When the ribbon is present in front of the entrance to the business, it symbolizes that the business is closed. When the ribbon has been cut and the two sections fall to the ground, it symbolizes that the business is now open and the public can enter its doors.

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  • Photo Credit Stephen Brashear/Getty Images News/Getty Images

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