Tossing a football to his son, Dave Hanks continued a family tradition Sunday at the 36th Annual Lindquist Pops Concert.
“I used to come up as a kid with my parents,” Hanks said, remembering the concert in its early days. He remembers the event as a time to have fun, spend time with family, throw bread to the ducks in the pond and enjoy the spectacular fireworks show.
“I think it’s a great time just to listen to the music,” said Hanks, who brought his three children to see the concert. Hanks hoped to bring those early experiences to them.
He was playing with his children as the orchestra was setting up by the pond. Police and event organizers patrolled the area as officials readied a line of cannons by the water.
“Being here in the grassy open area you can listen to the music while everything else is going on,” Hanks said.
Weber State University hosted the hourlong concert at 9 p.m. The grand finale featured live cannons accompanying Tchaikovsky’s famous “1812 Overture.”
The music was broadcast through speakers so everyone could hear the orchestra play. KWCR, Weber State’s local radio station, sent the concert to the skies so the whole community could listen live over the radio.
The cannons needed no speakers to deafen and impress the crowd.
The concert was sponsored by the Lindquist family, long time supporters of Weber State. The first concert was held over three decades ago when the Lindquist Plaza was first dedicated, according to Bev Rudd, WSU events coordinator.
“They’ve always wanted a pops concert here,” Rudd said. “The family is adamant that this will continue for years to come.”
Mary Jo Elmer has been a cellist in the New American Philharmonic for almost twenty years. Recently her daughter has joined the orchestra, so she looks forward to playing concerts with her.
“That’s been really fun, for us to do it together,” Elmer said. “That’s fun to watch her grow into it.”
Following the concert, spectators were treated to a half-hour fireworks display put on by Fireworks West, the largest fireworks show in the state. The fireworks thundered across the pond while the orchestra regaled the crowd with patriotic numbers.
Nearly 35,000 people gathered on the grass of Lindquist Plaza, most bringing family and friends.
“Some of these families have been coming for 12-15 years every year,” Rudd said. “It seems to be a real family tradition for a lot of the people in the community.”
This is not just a family tradition, but an Ogden tradition as well.
“If you wanted to experience what Ogden is all about, this would be one of the key events you would have to go to,” said WSU Vice President of University Advancement Brad Mortensen. “The whole community comes together.”
The campus shut down at 6 p.m. Saturday so people could come in early to mark their spots. By the time the sun set on Sunday, a mass of blankets, tents, caution tape and umbrellas covered all the grass in sight of the plaza.
The concert would not be possible without the Lindquist family, according to Rudd.
“We greatly appreciate the Lindquist family for continuing their support for this event,” Rudd said, echoing a sentiment expressed by many. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
Hanks, at least, is grateful.
“I think it’s great, it’s always a fun thing with the kids,” said Hanks. “(I don’t) worry so much about everything else going on, and spend that time with them until the fireworks, and go home and throw them in bed nice and tired.”