An Urban Fourth

Las Vegas Philharmonic bringing the Fourth to the Smith Center

Is Las Vegas a tradition-less city bent on blowing up the past and slapping up something new? This question has become a tradition in itself. Hooray for tautology!

But. But! About the Fourth of July: Last year, my girlfriend and I sat up on a hill in Summerlin and watched the fireworks at Red Rock Resort. The year before that, it was a park in Henderson followed by TV coverage of the Strip, and before that, a house on Sunrise Mountain where we took in the full, random smattering of uncoordinated fireworks shows around the Valley. We’d circled the edges of the metropolis without ever celebrating in its center. (And, although drunken tourism is a great American tradition, the Strip seemed a little too full of such Americanism.)

So this year, maybe it’s time to establish a new tradition with some classical music in the heart of the city. It appears the Las Vegas Philharmonic in answering the call with the Fourth With the Phil.

The Philharmonic will host an Independence Day celebration from 4 to 10 p.m. at Symphony Park—outdoors and indoors, music and food, fireworks and grass (of the lawn variety). The centerpiece of the evening is a patriotic concert in The Smith Center, broadcast outside for those who prefer lawn chairs.

And note: If you’re one of the diehards who has made an annual urban ritual of celebrating the Fourth at Cashman Field—a great tradition even when it falls on the 3rd or the 5th—you may soon need a new site anyway. Who knows when the 51s will ditch their storied stadium and move to historic downtown Summerlin?