Pops at the Post will go on outdoors tonight
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Music will fill the air tonight in downtown Salisbury during Pops at the Post, a free outdoor concert expected to draw thousands.
In its eighth season, Pops at the Post features some new details this year.
For the first time, people could make a $50 donation to reserve a tailgating spot in the South Church Street parking lots used by First Bank and Salisbury Post employees.
The new amenity proved quite popular, and 35 of 40 spots were reserved by 5 p.m. Friday. The remaining spots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 1 p.m. today.
However, organizers will help everyone who wants to tailgate find a spot.
“We won’t turn anyone away,” said Phillip Winters of the Salisbury Post. “We will do our best to find them a place to go, even if it’s on Fisher Street or Innes Street.”
Also for the first time, Pops at the Post will feature video tributes to veterans and prominent Salisbury residents who passed away over the past year, including Rose Post, Paul Bernhardt and Jim Hurley.
Hurley, with his wife Gerry, was a strong, consistent supporter of the outdoor event. The Hurleys are presenting sponsors again this year, along with the Salisbury Post and Robertson Family Foundation.
Eight vendors, more than ever before, will serve everything from pizza to Italian ice to meat on a stick beginning between 5 and 6 p.m. and continuing throughout the event. As before, Cheerwine will serve free soft drinks as a gift to the community.
And for the first time, Pops at the Post will operate as a nonprofit organization. It costs between $40,000 and $50,000 to put on the event, and donations are now tax-deductible.
So far, sponsors have donated $51,400 for Pops at the Post.
Despite the downpour Friday afternoon, maestro David Hagy made the official decision at noon to hold Pops at the Post outside. The symphony performs on the Salisbury Post loading dock.
Today’s forecast calls for dry skies.
“On the computer the chance of rain is zero, which doesn’t guarantee anything, but we are going to be at the Post,” Hagy, conductor for the Salisbury Symphony, said Friday.
The concert will begin at 8 p.m., with the Salisbury Swing Band warming up the crowd from 5 to 7 p.m.
Three military vehicles are scheduled to appear — a Black Hawk helicopter, military fire truck and Humvee — in the 100 block of South Church Street.
When the N.C. National Guard helicopter takes off around 10:30 p.m., spectators must stand at least 100 yards away, Winters said. That’s about a city block.
All tailgaters must be in their parking spaces by 6 p.m. today.
Tailgating guidelines include:
• One tent per vehicle. Tents cannot exceed 10 feet by 10 feet and must stay directly behind vehicles, with no overflow into other parking spaces.
• Cars or trucks only. No flatbed trailers or oversized vehicles.
• No pets.
• No alcohol.
• Please be quiet once the concert starts.
The Salisbury Trolley will pick up passengers around the downtown area to take them to and from the concert site. It will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and 10 to 11 p.m.
Pops at the Post began in 2005 as a way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Salisbury Post.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.
Timeline for today’s Pops at the Post
7:30 a.m.: Black Hawk helicopter lands in 100 block of South Church Street
1 p.m.: South Church Street parking lots open for tailgating. Nearly all spots have been reserved. Any unreserved spots will be first-come, first-served.
5 to 7 p.m.: Salisbury Swing Band plays on the porch of First Bank
5 to 6 p.m.: Vendors begin serving food throughout the event
6 p.m.: Vehicles must be in reserved tailgating spots
7 p.m.: Parking lots close
8 p.m.: Salisbury Symphony plays first note
During “The Midway March”: Video tribute to veterans and prominent Salisbury residents who have passed away this year
About 9 p.m.: Intermission, video tribute to the late Jim Hurley
10:30 p.m.: Black Hawk helicopter takes off in 100 block of South Church Street