Pops at the Post: An Evening of Music

I ventured slightly out of the Triad for this blog post to Salisbury, North Carolina. It is approximately 45 minutes south of Winston-Salem. The event that I attended was the 9th Annual Salisbury Symphony’s Pops at the Post. This is a completely free community event, featuring a performance by the Salisbury-Rowan Symphony. It’s a 2-hour, outdoor community concert that takes place on the Salisbury Post Newspaper loading dock at 131 West Innes Street, Salisbury, NC. A strange place to hold a concert you may say…

Let’s briefly examine the history of this event and it will make a bit more sense. The first Pops at the Post was hosted in 2005 as part of the Salisbury Post’s centennial celebrations at the Salisbury Post loading dock. So many people came out to see the Salisbury Symphony performance that Pops at the Post turned into an annual community event. It is now a non-profit organization with many local sponsors who help fund the event.

Pops at the Post is held the first Saturday of June. It is a 2-hour concert that starts at 8:00pm, just as the sun is beginning to set and the cool evening breeze begins. However, the fun begins well before then.  Tailgating for the event begins at 1:00 in the parking areas that surround the loading dock area. When I arrived, I could smell hamburgers on the grill. Folks were enjoying one another’s company under their tents and relaxing in their lawn chair. Cornhole was being played by many folks and kids were running around, having a blast.

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For people like me, not tailgating, I parked two blocks away (there was lots of parking available on the side streets and in some of the local parking lots), and I brought along my lawn chair. No available seating is available to the general public (bring a lawn chair or blanket); however, there are approximately 400 reserved seats available each year, for Salisbury Symphony Orchestra season ticket holders, event sponsors and handicapped concert-goers.

There were also numerous food vendors to choose from.  Everything from ice cream to steak kabobs could be purchased. There was also a Cheerwine trailer passing out free drinks. (Nothing is more exciting than free!)

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Around 4pm the Salisbury Swing Band started playing. They played for about 1 ½ and performed crowd favorites and beach tunes. Many folks were dancing to the music and having enjoying themselves.

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The “reserved-for-lawn-chairs” parking lot started filling up very quickly around 7:00pm in anticipation of the performance. The crowd was extremely diverse. The symphony did a brief sound check and the concert began promptly at 8:00pm, after a brief welcome and thanking of the sponsors. Everyone in attendance was given a handheld fan that included a program printed on the back.

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For the people sitting at the far ends of the parking lot, there were large projection screens set up so everyone could see the Symphony and everything that was going on during the show.

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This year the symphony performed the classic favorites such as 1812 Overture, Stars and Stripes Forever. However, they played an amazing Beatles Hits Medley, a medley from Les Miserables, and my personal favorite “Spirit of Adventure” from the Pixar movie UP (my all-time favorite movie).

This year’s event had two special additions – a flash mob and a violin solo from Miss North Carolina. So there was indeed something for everyone!

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After an hour of music, there was 15-minute intermission. This gave the performers a short break and also provided the concert goers time to visit the port-a-john, grab something to eat or just stretch their legs. The crowd did thin out a bit during the intermission, but not enough to really notice. Most of the folks that left had small children, which was completely understandable.

As the cool evening air settled, the second half of the performance began. The symphony played some traditional tunes the second half of the show and included a planned encore. The crowd gave the symphony a standing ovation at the end of the evening.

The weather was perfect for an outdoor night of free music. Music, neighbors, food, fun and FREE…what could be better?! The Pops at the Post at the post was well-worth the drive to Salisbury. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!

To learn more about the Pops at the Post, be sure to visit their official website. Also be sure to Like their Facebook page it features news, photos and event details.

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