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canon fire

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Back in April, libertarians, opportunists and enemies of the tax state crowded around Liberty Memorial in celebration of inchoate rage. Today, blankets and lawn chairs come out for something a little gentler: the 16 cannon shots fired during Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture." Sure, the hymn to Moscow's stand against Napoleon has no connection to U.S. history, but it's the "Freebird" of big orchestra blowouts, and the Kansas City Symphony will fire it up tonight to cap off the seventh-annual Bank of America Celebration at the Station. The grounds around Union Station (30 West Pershing) open at 3 p.m. today, with the U.S. Air Force Brass in Blue and the Bluegrass band Cherryholmes playing in the afternoon and local tenor Ben Gulley in charge of the national anthem. The event is free until you spend money on food; the PB&J Restaurant Group and custard king Sheridan's, among other vendors, will have booths. The symphony, with Music Director Michael Stern, goes on at 7:30, and the concert climaxes at 9:15 with music-synched fireworks. (See "Honoring the Fallen," this page, for more Memorial Day events at the memorial's World War I Museum.) You can also watch at home on KCPT Channel 19. If rain intrudes, the symphony will try again tomorrow night. See celebrationatthestation.com for details, including where to park.
Sun., May 24, 4:30 p.m., 2009

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