I enjoy establishing traditions. Sometimes these traditions are based around holidays, or family gatherings. Whatever the case, they are something to look forward to throughout the year. Tomorrow night I get to enjoy one of my favorite summertime traditions. In celebration of the 4th, the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra puts on a concert called Yankee Doodle Pops.
The symphony orchestra plays a selection of patriotic favorites. Usually at some point a guest artist joins in and sings a few songs. I was very excited a couple years ago when Brad Little was the featured soloist. The first time I saw Phantom of the Opera he was the phantom. Hearing him sing Music of the Night again nearly melted me.
One of the best things about this event is that it is free! The stage is set up on the west end of the west side of the Iowa state capitol grounds. You are looking into the sunset for a while, but not a big deal as the buildings of downtown help to block it. Thousands of people show up for this event every year. More and more vendors have started coming in and setting up at the top of the hill. However, you can also bring your own food and drink. Parking and maneuvering out of downtown afterwards can be a bit tricky, but definitely worth it.
The final song is the 1812 Overture. During this song they actually shoot off canons that are setup on the hillside. It is such a festive atmosphere. Towards the end of this song, the firework display starts. As the orchestra starts reaching the end of the song, the fireworks display is going full force. The fireworks are shot off from a downtown bridge so they appear behind the stage.
Such a beautiful evening and a fun time to spend with friends. I’m hoping the weather is perfect tomorrow night for another year at the Pops! What are some of your favorite traditions for the 4th? Any new things you are trying out this year? Hope you all have a safe and happy 4th!