Local News

Pops In The Park: A Labor Day Tradition for Area Families

Posted August 30, 2002 10:30 a.m. EDT

— Labor Day weekend will once again bring together tens of thousands of people celebrating the sounds of live music and the community's spirit of generosity with WRAL's 23rd annual Pops in the Park concert, featuring the

North Carolina Symphony


Pops in the Park is a free, outdoor concert and fireworks show kicking off the Symphony's 2002-2003 season. This yearly event also celebrates the Triangle United Way annual giving campaign.

Pops in the Park takes place on Sunday, September 1. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. on the grounds of Meredith College in Raleigh. Gates open at 4 p.m. The rain date is Monday, September 2.

One of central North Carolina's favorite musical events, this year's concert features light classics including rousing favorites such as Edward Elgar's Military March, Richard Rodgers' Victory at Sea and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, complete with fireworks. Also on the program is the premiere of a work by Symphony Composer-in-Residence Nathaniel Stookey. Wide as Skies was composed in celebration of the First Flight Centennial and will feature the

Capital City Girls Choir


North Carolina Symphony Associate Conductor and Interim Artistic Planning Advisor William Henry Curry and Assistant Conductor Jeffrey Pollock will share the podium for the evening. WRAL-TV's Bill Leslie will host the event.

An hour of the concert will be broadcast by WRAL-TV on Monday, September 2, at 7 p.m., sponsored by IBM and GlaxoSmithKline. WUNC-TV will rebroadcast the concert Sunday, September 8 at 6:00 pm.

Always a popular family event, Pops in the Park draws families to the Meredith College amphitheater from 4 p.m. through the conclusion of the concert. A variety of activities is available for families, including a KFC bucket-shaped air walk and the Identi-i-kid program.

WRAL-TV personalities will be on hand and guests will have a chance to register for a $500 gift certificate from WA Home, 2 $50 gift certificates from Shoe Carnival, dinner for two for a year from Applebee's, tickets to Aida, and tickets to the NC Symphony's Opening Gala.

Picnics, blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged, but pets and alcohol are not allowed. Food and beverages will be available on site.

Pops in the Park is made possible through a variety of sponsorships. This year's event sponsors include Applebee's, Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep, KFC, Lexus, Nature Conservancy, Skin and Cosmetic Solutions, Shoe Carnival, Toyota of Durham, Triangle Town Center, Disney's Aida and WA Home.

WRAL-TV organizes the event and produces the television program along with UNC-TV. The North Carolina Symphony donates its services to the people of the Triangle, and Meredith College provides the site.

The North Carolina Symphony's 2002-2003 concert season in Raleigh begins with an Opening Gala Concert featuring renowned flutist Sir James Galway on September 12 at 8 p.m. in Meymandi Concert Hall at the BTI Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information on North Carolina Symphony events, visit the web site at


. To purchase tickets for the upcoming season, call the Symphony box office at 919-733-2750.