It didn’t start out as part of the Books on the Teche Literary Festival, but the Iberia Cultural Resources Association’s “Symphony Sunday in the Park” has become a sort of de facto closing event for the festival weekend.

The annual outdoor pops concert featuring the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra is one of the many events that were put on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And, like many other events that had to go on hiatus, its organizers are working overtime to get out the word that Symphony Sunday is back and planning to be bigger than ever.

Entitled “The Best of American Pops,” this year’s concert will feature singer Sal Viviano bringing “A Century of Sinatra” under the oaks in New Iberia’s City Park.

The afternoon will also play host to a competition amongst attendees who can put together the best picnic theme. The team with the most creative and imaginative representation will win a painting of their picnic scene completed by local artist Alexis Braud.

The event is also an opportunity for the Iberia Cultural Resources Association to show off its contributions to the community and find new patrons for the organization. Executive Director Cathy Indest said that patrons, in addition to helping support the multiple musical and cultural events the organization sponsors each year, also receive a few perks that make their donations personally worthwhile.

“It’s also not too late to become a symphony patron or sponsor,” Indest said. “Anyone can call me at (337) 298-7964 to become a patron.”

One, for example, is the annual Patrons Party, which usually coincides with the Symphony Sunday. This year, due to ongoing COVID concerns, patrons will receive a gift box available for pickup after the concert. Patrons can also make reservations for space under the organization’s tent at City Park.

Wine, beer and soft drinks will be available for purchase at the beverage booth in addition to ice cream treats from a local food truck. Additional attractions will include a balloon artist from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. giving out free balloons for children of all ages.

There will also be shuttle service available for all attendees, not just patrons, from the parking area to the concert stage. Concertgoers can call Ann Allums at (337) 967-0474 for more information. Reservations will be taken on a first come, first serve basis.

All events and details are subject to change pending new Covid-19 restrictions. Necessary precautions will be taken to safeguard attendees and volunteers in line with federal and state guidelines.

The concert kicks off at 1 p.m. with Andy Smith playing at the gazebo in the park. The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra will start at 3 p.m.

“We welcome anyone and all to come to this free concert,” Indest said. “We would like everyone from the community to come and enjoy the music. Bring a chair or a blanket and relax in our beautiful park and have your life enriched with these beautiful songs.”

The concert will also be available virtually for those who do not yet feel up to a crowd. For those unable to attend in person, the concert will be broadcast via KANE Radio at 1240 AM or 107.5 FM.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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