Red, White and Boom! provides soundtrack to Fourth of July celebration 

click to enlarge WENDYMUTZ

Put on your shorts and flip-flops, grab a blanket or lawn chair and join Oklahoma City Philharmonic on Friday for Red, White and Boom! Now in its ninth year, the free event is open to everyone at State Fair Park.

“We welcome the whole community to join us in celebrating our nation’s independence,” said Susan Webb, director of marketing at Oklahoma City Philharmonic. “This is our free gift to central Oklahoma. We will have the most spectacular fireworks display in the metro and some new surprises as well.”

The concert begins at 8:30 p.m. and is conducted by maestro Joel Levine. Some of the patriotic tunes in store for spectators include “America the Beautiful,” “Armed Forces Medley,” “The Washington Post March,” “God Bless the USA,” “The Stars and Stripes Forever” and other all-American favorites.

“Many years ago, this all started as a collaboration with a local production company who created a three-day event on the Oklahoma River,” Webb said. “When that event was discontinued, the philharmonic, along with our community partners, saw the value of continuing to provide a night of excellent patriotic music and fireworks in an Independence Day celebration.”

Since then, it has grown.

“What started as an event with several thousand in attendance has, over the past eight years, turned into an Oklahoma tradition for 15,000 to 20,000 people annually,” Webb said.

Planning an event of this magnitude starts early in the year and usually takes about six months. Because it is free, a number of partners work together to make sure everything is in place. Those partners include Inasmuch Foundation, The Oklahoman, American Energy Partners, Williams, Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Magic 104.1 as well as State Fair Park, Allied Arts and Oklahoma Arts Council.

“We are able to provide this family-friendly celebration to the whole community free of charge thanks to our wonderful partners,” Webb said. “It really takes a village, and our growing attendance is affirmation that together, we can provide peerless entertainment for the local community with talent from national and local artists.”

One of those artists performing with OKC Phil is Oklahoma’s own Emily Drennan. Most recently, she has been touring with a production of Mamma Mia! Drennan is becoming a veteran with OKC Phil and said she is always ready to come home.

“I love being back in Oklahoma and the musicianship of each of the players. And, of course, the musicianship of Joel is of the highest caliber,” she said. “So, it is an honor to be back and to make music together.”

Free parking is available through gates 5 and 6 at State Fair Park, 333 Gordon Cooper Blvd.

Print headline: Patriotic pomp, OKC Philharmonic’s Red, White and Boom! blowout gets bigger and better every year.

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