Area residents can begin celebrating their patriotism early this weekend at the Red, White and Blue Friday event at Lafayette Square.
Participants can pack a picnic and enjoy a Patriotic Pops concert by the Community Orchestra under the direction of Neal Brumbeloe beginning at 7 p.m. This holiday tradition began five years ago and is LaGrange’s version of the Boston Pops.
The orchestra will play traditional patriotic favorites, which include marches by John Philips Sousa and a number of other favorite American classic tunes. The Community Orchestra is comprised of more than 60 volunteer musicians that come together specifically for the Red, White and Blue event concert each year.
Many of the players are retired band directors, current high school students and musicians from the area. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved from Lafayette Square to the First Baptist church sanctuary and will be held Friday night at 7 p.m.
Among the festivities planned for the Red, White and Blue event are contests and the showing of a free movie, “Apollo 13,” set to follow the concert portion of the event.
Community members are invited to Picnic with Pizzazz and compete in the best decorated picnic table contest. Judging will take place at 6:30 p.m. and prizes will be given for first, second and third place. The winners of the picnic table contest will be announced at the conclusion of the musical program. Other contests set for Friday evening begin about 8:15 and include Charlie Joseph’s hot dog eating contest and Cakes by Debbie’s ice cream eating and cupcake eating contests.
There is no charge to enter the contests. There is a limit to the number of contestants in the eating contests, who are asked to register at the Square from 6 to 6:30 p.m. if they wish to participate.
Updated information on the event will be available on Downtown LaGrange’s Facebook page in case of rain.