‘An American Salute’

‘An American Salute’

SoNA returns to the AMP for Fourth of July festivities


Choosing music for a Fourth of July concert is “deceptively difficult,” says Paul Haas, music director of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.

“After you’ve done ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and ‘The Stars and Stripes,’ there’s actually a lot of leeway in how to put it together,” Haas says. “I always like to program a concert like this with pieces absolutely everyone knows and loves, including film scores and old Americana, as you might expect. But I also like to insert something here and there that almost nobody knows but everyone will love, like an old fiddle tune arranged for the entire orchestra. As always with me, you never quite know what’s coming next!”

Haas will conduct the orchestra’s “An American Salute” starting at 7:30 p.m. July 4 at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers. The concert is preceded by a free Family Fun Festival starting at 5 p.m. in the parking lot across from the AMP.

“Fourth of July fireworks displays [in Rogers] were traditionally held at Lake Atalanta until 2002,” says Ben Cline, a spokesman for the city of Rogers, which co-hosts the event. “Then [they were] held at Veterans Park until we started the partnership with the Walmart AMP.

“We realized we had such a great venue right in our own back yard,” he explains. “It was before my time, but the powers that be saw that it made sense, and we went for it.”

The Family Fun Festival includes balloon artists, face painters, photos with superheroes, lawn games, a chance to inspect a fire truck and free watermelon provided by Regions Bank. Gates at the AMP open at 6 p.m. for concertgoers.

“The hardest challenges are keeping cool, not having your music blow off the stand, and being able to hear everyone else,” Haas says of the outdoor performance. “It’s an entirely different experience — but every bit as amazing.

“It’s important to have an arc to the program, with a buildup of energy,” he adds. “This is true in both halves of the concert, each building to the end. The first half ends with a salute to the members of our armed forces, and it’s awe-inspiring to see those who have served standing to be honored — hardly a dry eye in the house. And then, in the second half, the build is to the ‘1812 Overture,’ complete with cannon fire — and orchestral fire, too! And you never know.… Maybe there’ll be an encore!”

Fireworks start around 9:15 p.m.



‘An American Salute’

WHEN — Family Fun Festival starts at 5 p.m.; AMP gates open at 6 p.m.; music at 7:30 p.m. July 4

WHERE — Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers

COST — The pre-concert festival is free; concert tickets are $3-$35

INFO — 443-5600, waltonartscenter.org


NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE
Spectators watch Tuesday, July 4, 2017, during the Fourth of July Spectacular fireworks display and concert at the Walmart AMP in Rogers. The evening featured family activities before a presentation of music from Symphony of Northwest Arkansas followed by fireworks provided by the city of Rogers.

Courtesy Photo
A free family festival precedes the SoNA concert July 4 at the AMP.

Also scheduled to celebrate Independence Day are these events:

July 1

Summer Freedom Celebration — Patriotic celebration, featuring live music and fireworks at dusk at the crosses, Pinnacle Hills Campus of Cross Church. Free. 751-4523.

Summer Block Party — Community event including food, games, fellowship, gospel bluegrass by Cornerstone and a fireworks display, 5-10 p.m. at Summers Missionary Baptist Church in Summers. Free. 824-3436.

Fireworks & Fellowship — Fellowship and fireworks, 6 p.m., 43 Assembly of God Church in Van Buren. Free. 471-1110.

Fireworks Finale — Following the 8 p.m. cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle, Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. Cruise tickets are $28-$55. 800-775-2628.


July 3

Bella Vista Independence Blues Festival — With the Cate Brothers and the Downtown Livewires, 5-9 p.m., below the Loch Lomond Dam in Bella Vista. Free; bring blankets, lawn chairs & coolers. Fireworks to follow. Email artscouncil@bellavistaar.gov.

Independence Eve Fireworks Spectacular — Following the Naturals game against Corpus Christi, Arvest Ballpark in Springdale. Game time is 6:35 p.m. Tickets are $8.50-$14.50 at 927-4900.

Liberty Light Up — With music by Jason Pritchett & The Steel Horses, 7 p.m., Branson Landing Amphitheatre in Branson, Mo. Fireworks follow. bransonlanding.com.


Courtesy Photo
The flags will be flying at the AMP on the Fourth of July.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE
Catherine and Jeff Conner of Fayetteville watch Tuesday, July 4, 2017, beneath an umbrella as rain falls during the Fourth of July Spectacular fireworks display and concert at the Walmart AMP in Rogers. The evening featured family activities before a presentation of music from Symphony of Northwest Arkansas followed by fireworks provided by the city of Rogers.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/FLIP PUTTHOFF
Lauren McGrath (from left), Karen Owens and Gloria Behrendt cheer bands, vehicles and floats Tuesday July 4 2017 during the annual Fourth of July Patriot Parade in Bella Vista. The event featured patriotic music, speeches, rifle and cannon firing and parade entries. Parade goers watched the festivities at the Sugar Creek Center, near Bella Vista Way and Dartmoor Road.

July 4

Fourth of July Patriot Parade — With music at 9 a.m., entertainment at 9:30 a.m. and the parade at 10 a.m., Sugar Creek Center in Bella Vista. Free. 876-2624.

Fourth of July Events — Beginning with the As American As Apple Pie contest at 9 a.m. between the City Auditorium and the courthouse, followed by Ms. Apple Pie, Mr. Firecracker & Best Dressed Parade Dog, then the parade at 10 a.m., downtown Eureka Springs. Email grambo@eurekasprings.org.

Games Day — With water balloon battles, watermelon & more, 10 a.m.-noon, Lake Fort Smith State Park near Mountainburg. Free. 369-2469.

Freedom Fest — With music, food, a car show & fireworks, noon-10 p.m., City Park in Gentry. Free. 736-2358.

Devil’s Den Games — With horseshoes, sack races, a bike parade & more, all day, Devil’s Den State Park near West Fork. Free. 761-3325.

Freedom Fest — With food, games and music by Ricochet, all day, Veterans Memorial Park in Greenwood. Free. 357-1135.

Fireworks — With entertainment beginning at 5:30 p.m., Chad A. Fuqua Park in Hollister, Mo. explorebranson.com.

Fourth at the Field — With a baseball game between two teams from the M.I.N.K. Collegiate Baseball League, the Joplin (Mo.) Outlaws and the Nevada (Mo.) Griffons, 6:30 p.m., Arvest Ballpark in Springdale. Fireworks follow the game. Gates open at 5 p.m. $12. 927-4900.

July 4th Celebration — Hot dogs, drinks at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at dark at New Sulphur Free Will Baptist Church, Hogeye Road in Prairie Grove. Free. 846-2051.

Cardboard Boat Race — And Independence Day celebration, all day, Gar Creek Park in Ozark. Free. 667-2949.

FourthFest — Food, inflatables, games and fireworks, 7 p.m., First Baptist Church in Centerton. 795-2591.

An Evening at Orchards Park — With music by Fayetteville Funk Factory and Arkansas Winds, 7 p.m., Orchards Park in Bentonville. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Free; concessions available. 464-7275 or playbentonville.com.

Fireworks — Food, fun and fireworks, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., downtown Hindsville. Free. 789-6033.

Fireworks Finale — Following the 8 p.m. cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle, Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. Cruise tickets are $28-$55. 800-775-2628.

Fireworks — Dusk, high school football field in Booneville. Free. 675-2666.

Fireworks — 8:30 p.m., Ventris Trail’s End Resort on Beaver Lake near Garfield. Intended to be seen from boats. Free. 359-3912.

Fireworks — 8:30 p.m., Drinks, desserts and fireworks at dusk at Mount Comfort Church of Christ in Fayetteville. Free. 442-9171.

Jim Rollo Second Memorial Fireworks and Fish Fry — Bring a dessert or drinks to share at the picnic dinner, beginning at 7 p.m. with fireworks at dusk at Hope Community Bible Church in Rogers. Free. 636-2457.

— Deb Harvell contributed to this story.

WWII Vet Remembers

At 95, Bella Vistan Don Burri can now reflect on the fact that he darn near didn’t get to celebrate any Independence Days, let alone this year’s.

A Marine Corps aviator during World War II, Burri was a spanking new fighter pilot flying one of the Marines’ hottest planes — a brand new FG1 Corsair made by Goodyear, noted for its gull-shaped wings and 16-foot-long nose — when he had to ditch his burning plane southwest of an airfield in Palatka, Fla.

By the time he jumped, he was at 300 feet. He pulled the cord on his parachute, made one turn and hit the ground. He later learned from a rescuer that he formed a crater three and a half feet long and 18 inches deep.

“It knocked me silly and then some,” Burri says.

Burri, who spent years recovering from his injuries, remembers a time when World War II veterans weren’t honored. He came to appreciate his time in the service when he made a trip on an Honor Flight in 2011 to Washington, D.C. The one-day trip involved touring the memorials in the area.

Upon landing back at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, “we got to the head of the escalator, and the entrance foyer (below) was packed with people waiting to welcome us home,” he says.

The crowd cleared a path for them, he says.

“I was absolutely pooped,” Burri recalls. “But we got walking down that path, and the kids were reaching out and thanking us for saving the United States of America for our kids. I cried.

“I’ll never forget that as long as I live.”

Burri will be parade marshal for the Patriot Parade starting at 10 a.m. July 4 at the Sugar Creek Center in Bella Vista. Music starts at 9 a.m.

— The Weekly Vista

created on Wednesday 6/27/2018 at 9:37:01 am by Becca Martin



Categories: Cover Story