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Battlefield to host 'Salute to Independence'

July 02, 2005

SHARPSBURG - The Maryland Symphony Orchestra's 20th annual Salute to Independence will be today at Antietam National Battlefield.

The MSO's program, "Vintage Americana," will begin at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks will begin about 9:45 p.m.

The show will feature "The Star-Spangled Banner," "Maryland, My Maryland" and John Philip Sousa marches. The 65-piece orchestra also will perform Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture." The MSO also will salute the all-American sound of the big bands.

Concergoers also will hear the world premiere of "Yankee Doodle Variations" by Maryland resident Robert Lichtenberger.

There is no admission fee to the park, but donations will be accepted.

The park's visitors center will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Several of the park roads will not be available to tour after 3 p.m., Chief Ranger Ed Wenschhof said.

Parking is available in the park, and additional parking may be found along Md. 65 and Md. 34, which border the park.

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County Commuter will provide shuttle bus service, at a cost of $1 per person round trip, from 3 to 11:30 p.m. from the parking lot at National Cemetery on Md. 34 to the concert grounds, but there still will be a 300-yard walk, according to information at www.nps.gov/anti/salute.htm.

Concertgoers are asked to wear comfortable shoes, and bring a blanket, plenty of water or soft drinks, and a flashlight. Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service will sell food and drinks.

No grills, no pets and no soliciting are allowed.

Expect a minimum of a one hour to 90-minute traffic delay when leaving the event.

For information, go to www.nps.gov/anti/salute.htm or www.marylandsymphony. org.

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