By Paul Hyde: June 14, 2016
The Greenville Symphony will return to Simpsonville’s Heritage Park for an Independence weekend concert featuring patriotic music and fireworks.
This time, the show will be absolutely free.
“We want the entire Upstate to be able to enjoy the Fourth of July with an amazing concert from one of the nation’s leading orchestras and a true fireworks spectacular,” said Simpsonville Mayor Janice Curtis, speaking at a press conference Monday.
The Saturday, July 2 event, under the direction of the orchestra’s charismatic conductor Edvard Tchivzhel, will include an hour of patriotic music followed by Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” which famously concludes with a cannon barrage.
Then, there’ll be an 18-minute fireworks display to the tune of John Philip Sousa’s rousing “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
The Greenville Symphony has performed Independence concerts for several years at Heritage Park’s Charter Spectrum Amphitheatre. These were ticketed events that brought upwards of 5,000 people.
That number could easily double with this year’s free admission. The amphitheater has a capacity of about 14,200, officials said.
The orchestra took a one-year hiatus from the popular Independence concert last year.
“We regret the hiatus because July 4 is such a quintessential American event,” said Greenville Symphony interim executive director Andy White.
The free concert is being made possible by the City of Simpsonville, Greenville County and the Greenville Health System.
Organizers on Monday didn’t immediately have access to the total cost of the concert, although White said the orchestra’s fee for the event alone is $40,000.
Concert-goers may bring chairs and blankets to the concert, but cannot bring food into the park, Greenville Symphony officials said. There will be food and drink vendors on site.
In addition to the concert, the event will include military vehicles, a rock climbing wall, a military jump team and a Flag Retirement Ceremony by the Boy Scouts of America. Doors open at 5 p.m. and events begin at 6 p.m.
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