Pepsi Pops to light up Old Trace Park on May 10

Pepsi Pops to light up Old Trace Park on May 10


RIDGELAND — The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s annual Pepsi Pops concert promises a prime setting, beloved pop tunes, and splashy pyrotechnics for an irresistible evening, 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, at Old Trace Park on the Barnett Reservoir.

The 43rd annual Pepsi Pops closes out MSO’s Season of Fresh Voices with some of the freshest in town — the Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra, this year celebrating its 75th anniversary. MYSO’s 40 young musicians will entertain early arrivers and picnickers with pre- concert entertainment at 5:45 p.m., followed by David Keary & Friends at 6:30 p.m.

Once MSO hits the stage, saddle up! A frontier theme gallops through the program’s start, as befits a concert in the great outdoors. “The Cowboys overture, and the Oklahoma selections and ‘Hoedown’ from Rodeo are all of a piece,” says MSO Maestro Crafton Beck, “and, coming out of it, even Apollo 13 — it’s so American. It’s just wide-open spaces.” An Armed Forces Salute wraps the first half with patriotic flair.

After intermission, the gaze continues skyward, with the theme from Star Trek (2009) and a roundup of Star Wars faves. Burt Bacharach’s beloved “This Guy’s in Love with You” and the peppy Italian “Funiculi Funicula” supply some earthly delights. “God Bless America” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” drum up more patriotic fervor for the fireworks finale. It’s a full, family lineup, tailored for an audience ranging from youngsters to oldsters and everyone in-between. “At the end of each half, we make sure to send them away with a tune in their head,” Beck said.

Brown Bottling Group Executive Vice President Shelley Brown lauded the 43-year partnership between the Pepsi Cola distributor and MSO that brings Pepsi Pops to the community. “As a family-owned business, Brown Bottling Group knows the importance of the community,” she said. “Pepsi Pops provides a night of incredible orchestra sounds performed under the evening sky and it concludes with a tremendous firework display that leaves everyone in amazement. All this with the reservoir set as the backdrop makes for a perfect night out. Mark your calendar for Friday, May 10, at Old Trace Park so you can join us in the fun!”

WLBT’s Maggie Wade and Mississippi Today’s Marshall Ramsey, both longtime Pepsi Pops friends, will again host the evening. Bubbles and glow necklaces make it extra fun for the kids (donations optional and appreciated). Chairs, blankets, and picnics are welcome at the park, but please leave glass, alcohol, and tents at home. Food trucks and Pepsi Cola beverages will be onsite and ready to refresh.

“A lot of people feel like Pepsi Pops is the official start of summer,” MSO President and Executive Director Jenny Mann said. A lovely evening’s sunset with restful waves from the Rez and the thrill of fireworks gets the season of fun off to a great start. Should bad weather threaten, a rain date will be set.

Advance tickets for Pepsi Pops are $15 at and $20 at the gate (cash and cards accepted). Parking in the lot west of park is free.

A VIP Parking Pass ($35) permits parking in the lot closest to the green space via Post Road gate. Call 601-414-6005 or email to purchase a pass (by May 3 to have one mailed) or purchase at the Post Road entrance gate.

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