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"Pops in the Park" is Holiday Weekend Tradition

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RALEIGH — The weather is perfect, the price is right (free) and one of summer's traditions is about to get under way. The North Carolina Symphony's "Pops in the Park" concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. tonight on the lawn of Meredith College.

Gates open at 4 p.m. This year's concert features Broadway Center Stage with Mark Hardy and Susan Ishee performing selections from George Gershwin.

Prior to the concert, a variety of activities is available for children, including soccer-related activities, a petting zoo and pony rides.

Pre-concert music will be provided by the Casablanca Jazz Band, the local big band ensemble that has been popular at "Pops in the Park" for a number of years. They will perform from 4:30 to 6.

Another returning highlight will be the sky divers from Southern Aerial Skies, who will land on the site just before the symphony takes the stage.

The evening's music will conclude with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever, complete with fireworks.

WRAL-TV and MIX 101.5 FM organize the event and produce the television program that will air Monday at 7 p.m. The concert will also be broadcast across the state on Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. on UNC-TV. The symphony donates its services, and Meredith College, on Hillsborough Street just inside the Beltline, provides the site.

Concertgoers are encouraged to bring picnic baskets, lawn chairs and blankets, although food and beverages will also be available on site.

This year's concert sponsors include "Act Natural," Carolina Dodge dealers, Chick-Fil-A, Computer Renaissance, Hardees Pavilion at Walnut Creek, Harris-Teeter, Hill Ridge Farms, Honda/Yamaha of Raleigh, Jiffy Lube, Luck Stone Corp., Mitsubishi, NC State University athletics, S&K Menswear, Wake Med and Winn-Dixie.

The symphony's concert season in Raleigh continues on Sept. 25 - 26 with a classical concert featuring pianist Norman Krieger in Memorial Auditorium at 8 p.m.


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