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The event was first started 34 years ago to honor the memory of Ada Linquist. Every year since, thousands of people have gathered in the Ada Linquist Plaza at Weber State University to watch the concert.
“It’s an annual event for so many families,” said Bev Rudd, the event coordinator. “They have been coming year after year after year; their kids come and with their kids. It just seems to be a real family tradition. It’s one of those fireworks where it’s not attached to a game or anything else; they strictly just come for the fireworks.”
The Lindquist family paid for the entire event. The event included fireworks, the New American Philharmonic orchestra and cannons that went off during the concert. The cannons went off when the orchestra played the 1812 Overture and shot over the pond.
“It was a lot of fun, since we did the 1812 Overture,” said Toby Barrus, a bassoon player in the orchestra. Barrus has been playing with the orchestra for about a year, and he plans on playing in the concert next year as well.
Janette Duffin has played at almost all of the pops concerts at WSU. She was the first chair violinist for the New American Philharmonic. She first joined the orchestra in 1989.
“The orchestra has really developed,” she said.
The day before the concert, people were allowed to pick out spots and put their blankets down.
“The night of, it looks like a big patchwork quilt,” Rudd said.
Jacque Sphar came with her family the day before. They put their blankets down and stayed from about 3-6 p.m. and then left, coming back the next day. From the spot they picked, she said they could feel the cannons as they went off.
Sphar has attended the concert for years with her extended family.
“It’s a tradition,” she said. “We love the cannons.”
WSU students also attend the event.
“It was good to come out — good orchestra, good cannons, good fireworks,” said Kevin Simpson, a marketing major who graduated from WSU in the spring.
During the event, the side roads near WSU were closed off. The Ogden City Police and Weber County Police worked with the WSU Campus Police at the event. The police directed traffic on Harrison Boulevard. WSU’s fire department was also there to make sure the hillside wasn’t set on fire. Facilities management was also involved with setting up for this event.
“It’s one of the rare times when the community actually comes on campus as a community,” Rudd said, “where they’re not coming up here because they’re students, they’re not coming up here for performing arts . . . they are strictly coming to Weber State for this event.”