Norman Rockwell on Steriods

The Hopkins County Courthouse is the backdrop for the annual Independence Day Celebration in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
The Hopkins County Courthouse is the backdrop for the annual Independence Day Celebration in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Folks this is some good, clean down home (or downtown) fun! July 2, 2016 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Independence Day Celebration on the square in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

A group of volunteers started this event 25 years ago, and today it continues to be a project of the same group, the Sulphur Springs Symphony League.

Professional musicians from the Northeast Texas Symphony Orchestra entertain the crowd with patriotic music.
Professional musicians from the Northeast Texas Symphony Orchestra entertain the crowd with patriotic music.

If you haven’t been to this wonderful evening concert and fireworks show, this is what you need to know: The concert is free, but you need to bring a lawn chair or blanket in which to sit. Restaurants are open late to serve you. In addition, a concession stand is usually available with fun foods (nachos, hotdogs, etc.) You must arrive early in order to make your way to the square and to stake out your viewing area.

Most of the town wears anything they own that is patriotic, so throw on something red, white and/or blue and make sure it is cool. It can get pretty hot out there.

The concert starts about 7:40 p.m. with announcements, pledge, and a special treat for this anniversary year…a flyover. The professional orchestra will entertain you for about an hour and a half, and then the fireworks display will light up the sky over the historic J. Riely Gordan courthouse.

What has changed through the years, is that the crowds are larger, as well as the cost to produce this concert. So donations and memberships are accepted by the Symphony League.  Check them out on Facebook or at www.sulphurspringssymphonyleague.org

Fireworks light up the skies over downtown Sulphur Springs, Texas.
Fireworks light up the skies over downtown Sulphur Springs, Texas.

There will likely be free giveaways from one of our major sponsors, so be on the lookout. Other than the concession stand, no other vendor has been approved to sell anything to you. And other than the one sponsor, no other group is allowed to provide giveaways.

This night is dedicated to a community celebration of our Country, our Veterans, and our love of the American Way. You will see Veterans in their uniforms, small kids waiving flags, and families enjoying their community. This event is an annual way to renew our love of our Country and our faith in our fellow community members and our hope for future generations.

So, plan now for this wonderful night of fun on Celebration Plaza in Sulphur Springs, Texas. If Norman Rockwell were still around, he would be down there painting this lovely scene of Americana, Sulphur Springs style.

We welcome all out-of-towners wishing to celebrate with us!  Several major hotel chains are available, so do an Internet search and plan your celebration weekend.

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Happy Anniversary to the Sulphur Springs Symphony League and their orchestra, the Northeast Texas Symphony Orchestra.  What an honor to have our own professional orchestra!  Conductor Doug Bakenhus always brings a fabulous show to the stage.

Bonus Information:  For 25 years, the Sulphur Springs Symphony League has been producing the annual Independence Day Celebration the Saturday night before July 4, on the square in Sulphur Springs, Texas.  The square used to be called Heritage Square, but in the last few years it was renamed Celebration Plaza.  The Symphony League likes to think that new name was a nod to the name of their July concert.  Who am I to disagree?

5 thoughts on “Norman Rockwell on Steriods

  1. Kayla, get the Chamber of Commerce to change the picture of the symphony on the square to a more current shot. The one that they are showing was taken when York was conductor (1992-3) when they played on the concrete stage on the south side of the courthouse. If you need a shot, we have many.

    Annada

  2. I love this! I wish the city would print flyers/postcards for the downtown businesses to hand out in the spring. I invite so many people(customers) to this all year long! It is my favorite city celebration!

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