The Eighth Annual Concert of Symphony in the Flint Hills will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at Fort Riley. The outdoor celebration will take place on Fort Riley's Historic Main Post, which includes the Artillery Parade Field and Cavalry Parade Field.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Fort Riley to make it happen,” said Marty White, board chair for Symphony in the Flint Hills, Inc. “This unique setting will allow concertgoers to experience an often-unseen portion of Kansas’ majestic Flint Hills – the historic Fort Riley buildings and parade grounds. The dramatic surroundings of Fort Riley are sure to add an extra dimension to an already dramatic event.”
Founded in 1853, Fort Riley is named in honor of Maj. Gen. Bennet C. Riley, the man who led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail and through the Flint Hills in 1829. Over the years, the installation has been home to Maj. Gen. George A. Custer; two regiments of the famed “Buffalo Soldiers;” and the 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One), the oldest and most-storied division in the U.S. Army. Fort Riley’s size and location within the Flint Hills has allowed generations of soldiers to practice large sale maneuvers and receive live-fire training that has prepared them for action in every major conflict since World War I.
While the location of this year’s event is a departure from those of years past, symphony organizers feel holding the event at Fort Riley provides yet another opportunity to fulfill the organization’s mission of heightening appreciation and knowledge of the Flint Hills.
“The most noticeable difference about this year’s event is that instead of a site in a remote pasture of native prairie grass, this year’s event will be located in the middle of the historic fort buildings,” said White. “No venture into the history of the Flint Hills is complete without a stop at Fort Riley. We will have an opportunity to experience the legends and history that this fort has witnessed over the last 160 years in this portion of the Flint Hills.”
You are invited to arrive at the parking area as early as noon. The ticket gate opens at 1 p.m. By 2 p.m. educational activities begin onsite and award-winning barbecue dinners with vegetarian option will be available for purchase from Flint Hills vendors. Iced tea, lemonade and bottled water will also be available. Wine and beer will be offered for sale as well. We ask that you NOT bring any alcoholic beverages with you to the site. (It is against Kansas Alcohol Beverage Control rules and we could all get into trouble.) There will be plenty of free unchilled water. You may choose to bring your own picnic, but hard-sided coolers are not allowed past the ticket gate. Tailgate picnics are fine, of course.
Don’t forget a hat, sunscreen and bug spray! Umbrellas are great for shade but have to be closed when the concert starts. Bring a flashlight, the port-a-potties will be dark inside at night.
You may bring lawn chairs (no chaise lounge chairs, please) or blankets to sit on. However we will have folding chairs available for rent for a small fee for those who don’t want to carry their own chairs around.
The concert will start promptly at 6:45 p.m. The performance will last 90 minutes with a 20-minute intermission. No videotaping, photographing or cell phones during the performance, please. There will be a designated smoking area up at the concert site. Ask at the information booth for the exact location. Please do not smoke elsewhere.
The parking area, concert site and the food and beverage tents will be well illuminated. ABOUT PARKING: Incoming parking should not be a problem if you come early enough (well before 4:00 p.m.). You are encouraged to relax after the concert and enjoy continuing entertainment at the concert site while the parking lot clears. No sense waiting for hours in your car when you can enjoy old time acoustic music with fiddles, guitars, bass harmonicas, and a good expanded wood dance floor, and look at the stars through telescopes. Food and beverages are served until 11:00 p.m.
Spending a day in the Flint Hills in June can be absolutely glorious. However, nature is our partner for this event. All concertgoers will need to be cognizant of the weather forecasts for the area on Saturday, June 15, 2013. Should the concert have to be postponed until Sunday, June 16th, please see Rain Plan under Tickets.