Fireworks will blast in the background as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic performs the “1812 Overture” during a free Patriotic Pops concert at 8 p.m. July 3 at Parkview Field.
Philharmonic President and CEO J.L. Nave III announced Friday the orchestra will perform its annual Fort Wayne Patriotic Pops concert at the baseball stadium rather than at Foellinger Outdoor Theatre, where it has performed for years.
“We have talked about performing at Parkview Field since it was talked about being built,” Nave said.
Orchestras in other cities have performed successfully at baseball stadiums, he said. The venue, casual atmosphere and free admission also may draw people to the concert who normally wouldn't think of attending a Philharmonic performance.
“We want this to be an annual tradition for Fort Wayne,” he added.
He hopes the orchestra can perform at Parkview Field on either July 3 or 4 each year, depending on the Fort Wayne TinCaps' schedule. Because it takes about three hours to set up the orchestra for a concert, The Phil will have to play when the TinCaps don't have a game.
The local concert will feature the full orchestra, which includes 41 full-time musicians and 19 part-time players, Nave said. The musicians will be seated between home plate and the pitcher's mound, facing the stands.
Audience seating will be first-come, first-served, Nave said. Stadium gates will be open all afternoon, so people can come early to get seats. All Parkview Field concessions will open at 6 p.m.
There are no plans to move the concert indoors or to reschedule it if it rains, he said.
The Philharmonic's Holiday Pops concerts in December drew about 8,000 people in Fort Wayne, Nave said, and he hopes for similar turnout July 3.
“I'd love to pack the stadium,” he said.
Leading up to the Parkview Field concert, The Phil also will play its annual regional Patriotic Pops concerts. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. June 26 at Pokagon State Park near Angola, June 27 at DeKalb Outdoor Theater in Auburn, June 28 at Oakwood Resort on Lake Wawasee in Syracuse and July 1 at Ouabache State Park near Bluffton.
Those concerts also are free, but people will need to pay park admission fees to enter at Pokagon and Ouabache state parks. The Fort Wayne concert will be the only one with fireworks, Nave said.