For 30 years, Charlotte Symphony’s summer concert series has been a classic destination for music lovers in the city. On Sundays throughout the month of June and the first Wednesday in July, the orchestra serenades crowds on an over-water stage at SouthPark Mall’s Symphony Park. Here’s the score from when to go to where to perch for the show.
While the prelude doesn’t begin until 7 p.m., you’ll want to arrive at 5 p.m. when the gates open to reserve your spot. It fills fast, so bring a blanket to spread in the grass. The best area to settle in is at the edge of the water, where you’ll be able to clearly hear the melodies over the chatter of fellow concertgoers — and enjoy the ambiance of a lakeside evening under the stars.
Picnic baskets here run the full range from wine and cheese to potato chips and fried chicken (you are, after all, in the South). A Whole Foods and Dean & Deluca are both less than a mile away and offer plenty of options for alfresco fare. But for a fully prepared and fresh meal, order ahead from Rooster’s Restaurant just down the block. Pair locally grown butter beans and pan-fried corn with the restaurant’s famed barbecue chicken or pork shoulder, and have it delivered curbside to your car on your way to the park.
Each Sunday evening in June and on Wednesday, July 3, the prelude begins at 7 p.m. followed by an approximately hour-long symphony performance at 8:15 p.m. While all of the evenings are entertaining, two of the concerts are consistent crowd favorites. “Scores of Movie Music” on June 23 features familiar tunes from films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Gone With the Wind, and Grease. And the series goes out with a patriotic performance on July 3 with the Star-Spangled Banner, God Bless America, and America the Beautiful.
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Cravotta_01