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Weber State University shone and popped Sunday evening as thousands of people converged on and off campus to attend the 35th annual Lindquist Family Symphony Pops and Fireworks show.
The annual show featured roughly an hour of music by the New American Philharmonic, a battery of cannons put on by the Cannoneers of the Wasatch coinciding with a symphony performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, and a fireworks display to end the evening.
“We are indebted to members of the Lindquist family, who are the sponsors of tonight’s concert and fireworks, a tradition they began 35 years ago,” said Charles Wight, president of WSU.
Bev Rudd, university advancement event coordinator at WSU, said that when Ada Lindquist, the mother of the family, passed away, the family donated funds for the Ada Lindquist Plaza just south of the Miller Administration Building, the site of the fountain and duck pond. The family also wanted to hold an event for the community in her honor.
“The Lindquist family has been a huge donor and supporter at Weber State,” Rudd said. “And so that started it, where they would hold an event once a year for the community in honor of her. And it’s just continued for the past 35 years.”
The event has continued because of its wide popularity. Rudd said the event helps bring the community together at WSU. Typically, 40–60,000 people attend the event each year, she said.
This year’s show was significant because of the June 30 death of John A. Lindquist, WSU alumnus, philanthropist and member of the Lindquist family.
Wight announced at the concert that Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell and the Ogden City Council proclaimed July 14, 2013, which would have been John Lindquist’s 94th birthday, as John A. Lindquist Day in Ogden City. This year, the Lindquist Symphony Pops and Fireworks happened to fall on Lindquist’s birthday as well.
After Wight’s remarks, the New American Philharmonic performed symphony music for the event, beginning around 9 p.m. WSU’s radio station, 88.1 KWCR, also broadcast the concert live over the air, on the Internet and through its smartphone app.
“We believe it’s a real honor and privilege to be able to play it (the concert),” said Bruce Swenson, the orchestra manager for the New American Philharmonic. “It’s really a very large venue, and I think the players rather enjoy playing as well. They really like getting out there and being able to perform for the public, just like any musician would.”
To go along with the music, 18 cannons stood in a row facing out over the duck pond, startling some of the crowd with the first loud report after “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The cannons were brought to the event for the performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, which features a barrage of 16 cannon shots written into the music.
Charlie Freshman, the director for Cannoneers of the Wasatch, said the group enjoys coming to WSU each year and that members of Cannoneers of the Wasatch made most of the cannons used themselves.
“Most of them are 40-millimeter and were made out of World War II anti-aircraft artillery barrels, and then they were re-machined to have this historic look,” Freshman said.
After the barrage, the event ended with one of the largest fireworks displays in the state. Spectators spread out on blankets and lawn chairs across campus to watch the night sky light up.
“It really brings the community together,” Rudd said. “They put on a great show.”