Thousands get their spots for Symphony Under the Stars

Symphony Under the Stars blankets
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 14, 2023

HELENA — On Saturday thousands will once again fill the hill at Carroll College for the Intrepid Credit Union Symphony Under the Stars, but first people had to find their spots.

Things looked a bit different on Friday for blanket setup compared to past years. Individuals were still able to put out their blankets early at 3:00 p.m. with a $5 per blanket donation to the area Scouts BSA troops. Cans of food, that will be donated to Helena Food Share, were carried in bulk by those in line to weigh their blankets down.

Unlike prior years where everyone rushed for their preferred spot at 3:00 p.m. sharp, people lined up into groups that were released at intervals from Carroll practice field. Organizers said the ultimate reason was for safety and efficiency.

Symphony Under the Stars blankets

Kim McCarl was the first in line at 10:00 a.m. on Friday. McCarl has been attending the free event for over a decade.

“It's just an amazing event for this whole town and, you know, we have somebody who's coming in from Bozeman to watch it. People come from all around. And it's a real gift to the community to have this,” said McCarl.

People MTN spoke with about the change said they understood why they were calming things down, but also kind of missed the rush from previous years.

Symphony Under the Stars blankets

This year’s theme for Symphony Under the Stars is “The Great Ladies of Jazz” featuring music that pays tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland and more.

The music will be performed by the Helena Symphony under the leadership of Maestro Allan R. Scott. Aisha de Haas and Nova Y. Payton are the featured vocalists.

This is the 19th year of the event being held.