Home Of The Free: Music, fireworks celebrate Fourth of July

Home Of The Free: Music, fireworks celebrate Fourth of July
MONICA HOOPER
mhooper@nwadg.com

“Our goal this year was to emphasize a fuller picture of what it means to be an American. There will be everything from traditional patriotic music — like the National Anthem and [John Phillip] Sousa’s ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’ — all the way to more contemplative works like Aaron Copland’s ‘Fanfare for the Common Man,’” Paul Haas says.

Haas is music director of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and will conduct SoNA in a “Fireworks Spectacular: An American Salute” on the Fourth of July at the Walmart AMP in Rogers. Gates open at 6 p.m. Music starts at 7:30.

“We’ll be playing music by men, women and composers of color, and we’re sure the audience is going to leave the concert prouder than ever to be an American,” Haas says.

“With the exception of a couple pieces that have been adopted into American culture, this concert is a chance to celebrate the incredible American composers past and present like Florence Price, Aaron Copland and John Williams,” adds Riley Nicholson, SoNA’s executive director.

Music and fireworks are paired to compliment and amplify one another.

“With each piece, the musical trajectory of the concert builds up to higher and higher levels of energy, so that at the very end the fireworks can explode, releasing all that built-up energy,” Haas says.

To honor local veterans, Haas says, “we’ll be performing ‘Proud to Serve’ with the SoNA Singers, which is an arrangement of all the Armed Forces’ anthems by composer Craig Jessop, and this will give the entire audience a chance to honor those who have served or our currently serving in the military.”

“This will be the first time they’ve sung on our July 4th Fireworks Spectacular, and as you will shortly hear, they are nothing short of spectacular themselves,” Nicholson adds. “Having the orchestra with the chorus makes for a powerful symphony of voices that is unmatched by any other ensemble.

“This event has become a beloved Northwest Arkansas tradition, and we are so grateful to the Walton Arts Center/ Walmart AMP for inviting us year after year. This is one of those events that has wide appeal because it’s family friendly, and enjoyable for all ages. It’s not often you get breathtaking fireworks and a symphony orchestra all in one; we can’t think of a better way to mark July Fourth.”

Ticket prices range from $3 to $25 plus applicable fees and increase by $2 on the day of the show. See waltonartscenter.org/AMP/upcoming-concerts/fireworks-spectacular-2022/ for more information.

BELLA VISTA

Bella Vista Community Band will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. July 4 at Blowing Springs Park in celebration of Independence Day. The community is invited to pull up a lawn chair and listen. Prime Cut Food Truck will be on site.

BENTONVILLE

An Evening at Orchards Park kicks off at 7 p.m. July 4 with live music by Handshake Saint and Arkansas Winds. There will be food trucks available. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. No personal fireworks are permitted.

FORT SMITH

The annual Fourth of July celebration starts at 5 p.m. in Harry E. Kelley Riverfront Park, 121 Riverfront Drive, with music by DJ Grand Master P., followed by Who Shot JR at 7 p.m., and RaeLynn at 8:30 p.m. Alcohol is prohibited in the park, and no personal fireworks are allowed at the event. A fireworks show will start at 9:30 p.m., accompanied by music by the River Valley Community Band.

GENTRY

Freedom Festival, sponsored by the Gentry Chamber of Commerce, will begin at noon on July 4 and end after a fireworks display at dusk. The day will feature a car show, pageants, children’s games, food and more. Music will be provided by Mitch Ryder and the All Star Band as well as the Back Line Band. Also performing during the afternoon and early evening hours will be the Swade Diablos and the Butler Creek Boys. The event will be held in Gentry City Park. No pets are allowed in the park on that day.

HIGHFILL

First Baptist Church in Highfill will host a free evening celebration called “Let Freedom Ring” from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on July 3 with fireworks to begin at 9 p.m. Snow cones and popcorn will be given away as well.

ROGERS

Baptism and fireworks at the crosses starts at 5 p.m. July 3 at Cross Church at Pinnacle Hills Campus, 2448 Pinnacle Hills Pkwy. Food trucks will be available. Lawn chairs, blankets and picnics welcome. Fireworks begin at dusk.

SILOAM SPRINGS

The parking lot at the Siloam Springs Municipal Airport opens at 6 p.m. July 4 for Fire in the Sky. There will be parachute jumpers and a fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. The Siloam Springs airport is located at 20610 Smith Field Drive. Call the Parks and Recreation Department at 524-5779 for more information.

SPRINGDALE

Arvest Ballpark will do a fireworks display after the Naturals game that starts at 6:45 p.m. July 4. Must have a ticket to the game to attend. Har-Ber Meadows Subdivision and Springdale Country Club will have a fireworks display after dark on July 4.

VAN BUREN

Van Buren Chamber of Commerce will have a fireworks display at the Field of Dreams Sports Complex at 1 Toothaker Drive with gates opening at 7 p.m. July 4. Food vendors will be available. Coolers, blankets and lawn chairs welcome. Depending on weather conditions, the Van Buren and Fort Smith fireworks displays should be visible from either site.

WEST WASHINGTON COUNTY

Farmington will have a fireworks display, beginning at dusk, on July 4. The fireworks will shoot off from Farmington Middle School. Some places to set up to see the fireworks include parking lots along Main Street. In addition, residents are welcome to bring blankets and chairs to watch the fireworks from the old football field off Double Springs Road.

The city of Prairie Grove will have a fireworks display, beginning at dusk, on July 4, with the display to go off from the field south of the high school. Prairie Grove’s fireworks display will go off from the field south of the high school. Places to watch include the high school parking lot and places along Buchanan Street.

Lynn Kutter, Randy Moll, Mike Jones and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette contributed to this report.

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FYI

Keep Pets Safe

“Anxious dogs have been known to dig under or jump over fences, break tethers or even shatter windows in response to their fireworks fears,” warns Hannah Stember of Best Friends Animal Society. To keep your fur babies safe this year, she offers the following tips:

• Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely, making sure that any potentially harmful food or alcohol is kept out of reach.

• Secure pets in a room, close the windows, draw the curtains, surround them with comforting toys, and play loud music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds.

• Always keep pets away from lit fireworks (including in your own back yard). Some will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk of being burned or blinded in the process.

• Fireworks are toxic if ingested, so be sure to keep unlit fireworks out of reach.

• Ensure that pets are wearing current identification tags, and make sure your current contact information is recorded with the vet clinic or shelter that implanted the microchip.

• Have a plan in place in case your pet does go missing that includes calling and visiting the local shelter and posting information about your missing pet on platforms such as Nextdoor and Facebook.

For more information, visit www.bestfriends.org.

Categories: Family Friendly