Tickets for 4th of July Event Now on Sale

Now in its third year, Paso Pops is anticipating the largest gathering yet at its new location, Paso Robles Event Center at 2198 Riverside Ave. in Paso Robles. The patriotic Boston Pops-style annual musical celebration and fireworks show is planned for July 4th.

Food, live music, local beer and wine, and family-oriented activities and fireworks are planned for the afternoon-into-evening celebration. Paso Wine Man personality and local musician Casey Biggs will emcee the event. Travel Paso, a 501(c)(6) organization, will be the title sponsor for the event, and Cass Winery and Firestone Walker Brewing Company will return as community sponsors.

Food truck vendors will offer selections for purchase and guests may also bring picnic lunches if they prefer. Local beer and wine will also be available for purchase, as no outside alcohol will be permitted. A faithful army of volunteers will again donate their time and effort to attend to logistics.

The extravaganza will be headlined by San Luis Obispo Symphony and new conductor Andrew Sewell. The maestro, who hails from New Zealand, served 18 seasons as Music Director for the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in Madison, Wisconsin, and previously guest-conducted for SLO Symphony at Classics in the Cohan in 2016. As a teen, Sewell’s accomplished playing of violin, cornet and piano helped propel a budding career at age 16. Since then, he has guest conducted at numerous distinguished concert halls around the globe.

A three-year agreement between Paderewski Festival, a local nonprofit organization which sponsors the event, and Paso Robles Event Center recently finalized the venue change from Paso Robles Horse Park, just southwest of Paso Robles Airport.

“The reason for the move is simple,” said founder Steve Cass. “We lost $20,000 last year. Twenty-five percent of the cost was used for the infrastructure required for a 4,000-person event. Expenses included the stage, porta-potties, shuttle busses, 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,” said Cass. “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. It is our hope that this event can supplant some of the many smaller fundraisers we have traditionally held throughout the year.”

Ease of setup inside the venue, a closer proximity to Downtown and more efficient ingress and egress will be a plus for guests. Another important priority for the Paso Pops team was to increase availability of a comfortable shaded area, particularly for children and those more 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.

“At the Event Center, the Main Stage seating area is in shade by 7:30 p.m., and there are plenty of shade structures and trees for the pre-show wine tasting, as well as kids’ events,” said Cass.

“Paso Pops is run by volunteers. All revenue, 100 percent, go to our programs. There are no salaried staff,” said Cass. “Net proceeds all benefit Paderewski Festival Youth Piano Competition and the Youth Cultural Exchange program.”