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Music: Food and Drink for the Soul

Kim Medley
Kim Medley

In a pavilion not too far away, goblets caressed nectar from the gods, platters offered enticing morsels, music opened a portal to a time long forgotten, and souls were quickly whisked to a galaxy where the force allowed many to simply, “Let It Go”. Where once an evening filled with melodies and tunes was threatened by imposing Florida weather, a feared cancellation was magically transformed into an evening where lyrics to a favorite tune became Let It Rain! Let It Rain! Let It Rain! Cool breezes, candlelight’s warm glow, and harmony’s inspiration set the stage for the Eighth Annual Picnic & the Pops sponsored by the Palm Coast Arts Foundation.

Board of Trustees, advisors, future problem solvers, photographers, local artists, and Boy Scouts diligently worked to welcome the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra to a last minute change of venue, the Coca-Cola Pavilion at Destination Daytona. Picnic and the Pops is normally scheduled to be held in Central Park at Town Center of Palm Coast; however, with inclement weather on the horizon, these collective problem solvers formulated a strategy guaranteed to bring a nod of satisfaction from Luke, Hans, and even Yoda and this was certainly felt as Conductor Christopher Confessore opened the performance with a tribute to John Williams, including the “Main Theme to STAR WARS”. Instrumentals, leaving the strings of violins, flowing from French horns, escaping from flutes, and heralded by beating drums, were lifted by the evening’s gently flowing wisps of wind; and, as they passed over each patron, images from classics such as Jaws, Close Encounters, Indiana Jones, E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Superman, and Jurassic Park came to life, if only for a brief moment in time. As the dusk’s silvery grays turned to a deep blue, almost purple backdrop, senses were enticed and anticipations met as favorites from presentations like The King and I, Swan Lake, along with the brilliance of Gershwin, Brubaker, Bizet, and Lopez arrived with perfect synchronicity and timeliness, similar to that of passengers of an “Orange Blossom Special”.

Picnicking before, intermission and raffle drawings, and comparing notes afterward combined to make this night’s adventure an affair to remember. Perhaps the most poignant and heartfelt moment came, most appropriately, with the final tribute to Mr. Irving Berlin, “God Bless America”. As with any great piece of music, it began slowly. The first few notes soon led to words pouring from the mouths of audience members. Soon, a crescendo began to build as each row, beginning from the last and ending with the first, stood and sang louder with each played note. Finally, both the song’s and evening’s best moment took place when those final notes brought forth those final words, “God Bless America, My home sweet home”, and caused the audience participation to equal the volume and harmony of this amazing symphony. A wonderfully successful event provided giant steps toward the Palm Coast Art Foundation’s goal of securing the necessary resources to construct a permanent pavilion, in Palm Coast, so the Picnic & the Pops event has its forever home in a community as close as the inhabitants of Endor.

Event:              Palm Coast Picnic & the Pops

Sponsor:          Palm Coast Arts Foundation

Date:               Third Sunday in April (Please check for 2016 date)

Time:               Gates open at 6:30 pm for Picnic and Fellowship

                        Music begins at 8:00 pm

Tickets:            $45.00 at the gate (Please check for 2016 admission price)

Location:         Central Park at Town Center – Palm Coast, FL

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