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Austin Symphony Orchestra Returns July 4th With a Bang

After an absence last year, the Austin Symphony Orchestra is returning to Auditorium Shores to ring in the Fourth of July.

The symphony announced today that it would host its 36th annual Independence Day concert along the shores of Lady Bird Lake – complete with fireworks – after the event was called off last year.

“We were in the middle of just a terrible drought, and pretty much within the last two and a half weeks or so [before July 4, 2011], the fire marshal decided that fireworks would not be in the best interest of any event at that particular time,” Anthony Corroa, executive director of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, tells KUT News. The decision set off a reaction leading to the event’s cancelation, but Corroa anticipates an all-clear this year. “In the off chance that fireworks get canceled,” he adds, “the concert will go on regardless.”

The July 4th concert is the biggest annual undertaking for the group. “When you look at maybe 75 to 100 thousand people gathered in one place, it’s quite an undertaking for an organization like the symphony.”

Making its announcement today, the symphony sent out a list of helpful tips which we’ve included below. “It’s going to be very exciting,” Corroa says. “We’re all excited about getting to do the show, and we're excited about the prospect of keeping it going in the future.”

How Best To Get To Auditorium Shores - For the best experience, park north of Lady Bird Lake in the downtown area tom avoid the extensive congestion in and around Lamar, Barton Springs Rd. and Riverside (all areas south of the park). In addition, The Bouldin Creek Neighborhood will have neighborhood parking restrictions in place for safety. Parking along Rights of Way and medians, blocking private drives and lots, and utilizing "Not Permitted" areas may subject you to fines, ticketing and/or towing at your own expense. In addition, parking on green spaces and parkland is prohibited. Transportation - Use the Hike & Bike Trail to get to the park (don't forget a flashlight). - Bike to the event. The park is wide open and you can ride your bike directly to the concert site! - Ride a CapMetro bus. Use a CapMetro trip planner to plan your trip. Parking Options - A wealth of public downtown parking garages north of Lady Bird Lake may be found on our website ( - Convention Center Garages - $8, noon to midnight. Take the Cesar Chavez Promenade or the Hike & Bike Trail to the concert site. - Free parking: State Garages on Trinity between 13th St. & 17th St. near Waterloo Park, State lots on corner of MLK & Trinity and MLK & Brazos. - One Texas Center - $10, noon to midnight. - Palmer Events Center Garage – $10, noon to midnight. - City Hall Garage - Paid Parking. ADA Parking will be by permit at the Palmer Event Center Garage on a first come, first served basis. Entrance is from the south via Barton Springs Rd. Road Closures 10 a.m. - Riverside Drive from Lamar to S. 1st St. 3 p.m. -Cesar Chavez between MoPac and Congress. North- and Southbound MoPac will be diverted to 5th St. and Enfield/5th St. 6 p.m. - S. 1st St. Bridge closes to vehicle traffic. ALL STREETS WILL BE REOPENED NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT. Trail Closures - Motorized vehicles will be prohibited on the trails. - The lower portion of the Hike & Bike Trail on the north side of Lady Bird Lake (between Seaholm intake Structure and S. 1st St.) will be closed at 10 a.m. The upper sidewalk will along Cesar Chavez will remain open. Lake Closures - For safety reasons, Lady Bird Lake between the railroad trestle bridge and the S. 1st St. Bridge will be closed from 8 p.m. to midnight. Reminders and Allowed/Prohibited Items - Please leave pets at home, as the cannon fire and fireworks during the performance is highly upsetting to our 4-legged friends. - Parking will not be allowed in Bouldin Creek neighborhood. - Remember, you are in an outdoor setting. Wear sensible shoes, clothes and hats for sun protection. - Pack water for hydration, bug spray and blankets. - Pack a flashlight if you are traveling the Hike & Bike Trail - No glass or Styrofoam containers. - No alcohol allowed in the park. - No barbeque grills. - Help keep the park clean. Clean up after yourself.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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