Tickets are Still Available for July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza

This year marks a venue change for Paso Pops, scheduled for the Fourth of July. The patriotic Boston Pops-style annual musical celebration and fireworks show has found its new home at the Paso Robles Event Center at 2198 Riverside Avenue in Paso Robles.

Live music by San Luis Obispo Symphony,
food, local beer, wine,
family-oriented activities,
and a fireworks finale are planned for the afternoon-into-evening celebration.

Paso Wine Man personality and local musician Casey Biggs will emcee the event, and Travel Paso, a 501(c)(6) organization, will be the title sponsor. Returning this year as community sponsors are Cass Winery and Firestone Walker Brewing Company.

Conductor Andrew Sewell and San Luis Obispo Symphony are the headliners. Sewell, who hails from New Zealand, has served as Music Director for the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in Madison, Wisconsin, for 18 seasons. He also previously guest-conducted SLO Symphony for Classics in the Cohan in 2016. As a teen, Sewell’s accomplished playing of violin, cornet and piano helped propel him into a successful career at age 16. Since then, he has guest conducted at distinguished concert halls around the globe.

For 2018 and beyond, organizers hope to make Paso Robles Event Center as the favorite place for kids on every July 4th.

Carnival rides for children under 12 will be available throughout the day.
A kid’s tent will also provide plenty to do, including face painting, toys, art,
a symphonic instrument demo and
 activities for younger children.

“Were extremely excited about the 2018 Paso Pops July 4th celebration,” said Steve Cass, president of Paso Pops. Our new venue has so many features available to us. It will make for a better-run, organized show. I’m told that Casey has a surprise entrance this year, so it should be fun!”

Photos by Nicholas Mattson

Picnic areas will be available for families to gather in a relaxed atmosphere. Food trucks and vendors will also provide a selection of food options to pair with wine and beer, all available for purchase.

The Paderewski Festival, a local nonprofit organization that sponsors Paso Pops, decided to change the venue from Paso Robles Horse Park, located adjacent to Paso Robles Airport, to the Events Center for several important reasons.

“By 7:30, the Main Stage seating area is in shade, and there are plenty of shade structures and trees for the pre-show wine tasting, as well as kids’ events,” said Cass. “Last year, 25 percent of the cost was used for the infrastructure required for a 4,000-person event. Expenses included the stage, porta-potties, shuttle buses, rental tents, and traffic controls –things that are not required at Paso Robles Event Center. Our nonprofit, Paderewski Festival, like others, struggles to keep afloat financially.”

A closer proximity to Downtown and more efficient ingress and egress will be a plus for guests. Another important priority was to increase availability of a comfortable shaded area, particularly for children and those who are sensitive to summer heat. Cass explained that the Paso Robles Event Center provides ample protection from sun and wind. General admission seating, located in the bleacher areas, will also provide better sightlines and omit the necessity of schlepping in lawn chairs.

“Just two weeks after our show last year, it was 107 degrees when other outside events were cancelled. Had that happened at the Horse Park on the Fourth of July, there would have been considerable risk to our customers. Funds that we raise are used to support our Youth Piano Competition, cultural exchange, and the free events held during the Paderewski Festival week in November,” said Cass. “It is our hope that this event can supplant some of the many smaller fundraisers we have traditionally held throughout the year.”

Sponsored President tables include all the perks, including wine tasting, a gourmet buffet, wine, beer and reserved parking. Options range from General Admission ($20) to sponsored President tables ($3,500), which include perks such as wine tasting, a gourmet buffet by Cass Winery, wine and beer, plus reserved parking. Vice-President tables ($1,000) enjoy wine tasting and VIP parking. Speaker tables with individual seating are available for $75.

To honor active and retired military veterans, Discounted General Admission will be available at half-price for $10. Students and seniors (60+) will also receive Discounted General Admission for $10, while up to two children age 12 and under will get in free with each paid adult General Admission.

Not only will the Events Center provide a more central location to gather, but the cost savings means that music students and others will benefit.

“All revenue goes back into our programs. There are no salaried staff. Net proceeds will all benefit Paderewski Festival Youth Piano Competition and the Youth Cultural Exchange program,” said Cass.

To learn more, email Steve Cass at steve@casswines.com, or call him at 805-239-0873.