Mother’s Day is coming up. That probably means flowers and a card for your mom, your spouse or someone you know who is a mom.
And that sounds like a nice way to recognize them: Flowers and a card. Not very creative, of course. Maybe a little boring when you think about it. But nice, I guess.
The question is, do you want to be boring, or do you want mom to know she’s special? Does she really want another year of flowers to throw away and a card to put in a shoebox? Or does she want to spend some quality time with you and the family?
Maybe this is the year to surprise mom with something she doesn’t expect, like an evening listening to live, classical music from an acclaimed orchestra. How often does she get to do that?
On Mother’s Day, May 8, the whole family can do something together when the Florida Orchestra performs a free concert at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, in Tampa. It’s a nearly two-hour show with music you’ve definitely heard before, including some classic favorites. As in, legitimate classics.
Oh, and did I mention it’s free? I did? OK, just checking.
The Florida Orchestra has put together a Mother’s Day performance for the past few years, and the concert is very popular. Thousands of people bring lawn chairs, food, drinks, blankets and even leashed pets (the park is dog-friendly) to hear them perform.
And it’s not just a few parts of the orchestra. It’s the whole thing. Around 60 musicians will perform compositions like Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Offenbach’s Can-Can.
Never heard those, you say? Yes, you have. You might not know them by name, but when you hear it you’ll recognize it. There’s also going to be music from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and a tribute to The Beatles. I’m sure you’ve heard of them. Throw in the Olympic fanfare and finish it all off with some fireworks, and you have an evening of fun, unique entertainment.
And how will mom feel about taking her to a free event? I think she’ll be proud to know that you listened to her about saving money and being responsible with your finances. And she’ll be honored that you’re spending time with her to do something unique and fun. No offense to flower shops and candy makers, but this is a memory that will last a lot longer.
The performance starts at 7:30 p.m., but you’ll want to get there early to get a good spot. Feel free to invite other mothers, too. Maybe you know a mom whose children don’t live locally, or aren’t with them anymore. They deserve to be recognized, too. So whether it’s a friend, neighbor or family member, invite them to come with you and enjoy some entertaining live music from a special group of performers. This isn’t some garage band playing at a neighborhood party. The Florida Orchestra has been around for decades, performed with Whitney Houston when she sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl and presents nearly 100 concerts each year.
Except most of those concerts aren’t free.
This one is.
So Happy Mother’s Day, and enjoy the music.
By the way, if you can’t make it on Sunday, the full orchestra is performing a free one-hour set on May 7 — the night before the Mother’s Day concert — at Westfield Countryside Mall, 27001 US Highway 19 North in Clearwater.
It’s a bit of a drive, but if you want to see them for free and already have Mother’s Day plans, it’s a good way to catch the orchestra. That performance begins at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, visit FloridaOrchestra.org.
Published May 4, 2016
By Michael Murillo