An annual outdoor orchestra performance on a late-spring evening has become a staple for the Jackson metro over the past 30 years. Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Pepsi Pops at the Ross Barnett Reservoir is a family-friendly affair that welcomes picnic dinners by candlelight.
Even if you're not a big symphony fan, Pepsi Pops features popular music. The symphony performs music by Michael Jackson and The Beach Boys, and movie soundtracks such as Tara's theme from "Gone with the Wind." It also features patriotic songs like "God Bless America," featuring Greeneville vocalist Ora Reed, "Stars and Stripes Forever" and "Yankee Doodle." The finale includes a large fireworks display.
Like all things southern, food is a special part of the event. Local celebrities Marshall Ramsey and Chef Louis Bruno are the judges of the event's picnic contest.
"We have a little bit of everything, which is one of the reasons people come back year after year," Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Michael Beattie says. "It is a family affordable atmosphere for hearing live symphony music."
Pepsi Pops is Friday, May 6, at Old Trace Park (off Post Road near the intersection of Rice Road in Ridgeland). Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the orchestra concert begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the gate, and are available at area Kroger stores and McDade's, online at http://www.msorchestra.com, or by calling 601-960-1565.