Symphony fans packed their chairs and blankets and settled in on the lawns of Snow Basin Resort on July 3 to kick off the Fourth of July Weekend with a performance by the Utah Symphony.
Broadway’s Hugh Panaro, the night’s special guest, started the night with The National Anthem.
Although the night focused on classic American favorites and most attendees sported red, white and blue clothes, some struggled with the idea of celebrating a country in such a distressed state.
“A few years ago I would’ve told you the Fourth of July was my favorite holiday,” concert attendee Brian Milligan said. “But people are in cages, and we are discussing a wall. That is a country that I have a hard time celebrating.”
Despite the conflicting opinions, Milligan still stood in support of the veterans as tributes were paid to each department.
“I will always respect and show gratitude to those who serve for our country, but I am not sure I will be able to always celebrate the country as I once did,” Milligan said.
Julie Abernat, a local patron at the concert, said that as a country, we are often brought together by negative conditions. Although she disagrees with and is not supportive of many of the ways the country seems to be moving, she still believes in celebrating people uniting as one.
“Because the country is in so much turmoil, it is even more important that we come together for events like these,” Abernat said. “We need to unite despite our differences in uplifting circumstances.”
Abernat said she and her husband tell their children it is important to participate in events where people show support toward those “who have given up so much.”
“My husband and I have taught our children the importance of educating themselves on the political state of the country they live in but still standing up for their country, their freedom and every single individual who is affected by it,” Abernat said.
Patrons swayed in unison as tunes such as Yankee Doodle, This Land is Your Land and God Bless the USA filled the sky.
“Just look around. Eyes opened or closed. It is beautiful here and we are so privilege to take advantage of it,” concert attendee Brittnie Laken said. “There is not very many better ways I can think of to pay tribute and celebrate our country.”