Symphonic music is best enjoyed in a large auditorium, wearing a tuxedo or formal gown?

Not true. At all.

Dare we say, the best symphonic concert of the year happens this Thursday, September 21 at 7 p.m., on the grounds of The Cedars at 4145 Old Canton Road during Fondren’s Symphony at Sunset with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

Despite only the slightest of rain chances and mild temperatures in the forecast, there’s a 100 percent chance you’ll enjoy a program so varied that it includes the William Tell Overture –  and music from Star Wars.

The best part of it all? The admission price is free. Thanks to the generosity of Fondren Renaissance and longtime presenter, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi, it’s your chance to bring the whole family out for a cultural experience unparalleled in the metro.

Never been – or it’s been a while? Here are a few reminders on the rundown:

• With 2,000 people in attendance, parking is tight – but available. St. Andrew’s Lower School parking is open along with the grassy area at the corner of Meadowbrook and Old Canton. Many neighborhood folks just walk (advised if you are close and can). A group of Hinds County Sheriff’s deputies are on duty.

• Bring a blanket or lawn chairs, your picnic foods (some restaurants have offered Symphony at Sunset discounts in years past) and setups and the entire family. Everyone, that is, but fido. Sorry, with the tight squeeze and so many people in one small area, pets are not advised. Pro tip: bring your blankets and chairs out earlier in the day to stake out a spot. 

• The evening begins with a presentation to this year’s honorees, Governor William Winter and Mrs. Elise Winter, at 7 p.m. The National Anthem follows and the program kicks into high gear from there. There is a short intermission and the evening ends before 9 p.m.. Even for a school night, that’s reasonable!

• The Cedars will be open so that you can see the 6th annual Cedars Juried Art Show. It’s in its final run this week, so if you pass up Thursday night’s chance, Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., is it.

• As mentioned, the evening is free to you but not free to put on. When the donation bucket makes its way around at intermission, give generously. It takes your support to make these events happen.

• Finally, as a courtesy to this historic property – and those around you – The Cedars and its grounds are non-smoking.

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