Harrison Arts Center

A holiday concert that had been planned as a free event at Lake Mirror on Friday for perhaps several thousand people is now going to be a $5-a-seat indoor performance for up to 600.

Harrison Arts Center and the City of Lakeland had been working for nearly a year on plans for a Friday evening Sounds of the Season outdoor concert at the Lake Mirror Amphitheater, city spokesman Kevin Cook said.

However, the threat of rain prompted him and Harrison Principal Daryl Ward to decide this morning to move the concert indoors.

“With the threat of rain and the sensitivity of instruments as well as the insane amount of set-up on our part to provide over 56 microphones and sound for the orchestra, jazz band, chorale and guitar programs – if it started raining we would be in trouble,” he said in an email.

The concert will now be held at Harrison Arts Center Theater from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $5 and available at the Harrison website. All tickets are general admission.

A nearly identical performance called Music of the Season will be held at Harrison on Thursday at 7 p.m. Tickets for that sold-out show are $11 for adults and $9 for students and seniors.

The lower ticket price is available Friday night because the show is sponsored in part by the city of Lakeland, Cook said. Ward added, “There are facility costs when we have it our venue, so the ticket sales assist with that as well.”

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The annual holiday concerts include selections from a variety of cultures of genres and sell out each year. The program has been so popular that what had once been a Thursday-only event was expanded to Thursday and Friday.

This was the first attempt to hold the holiday show at a larger outdoor venue.

So what will be the differences between the Thursday and Friday concerts? Said a coy Cook: “There is a special something that will be played on Friday but other than that – the show will be identical.  We are not at liberty to share what the difference is but the FORCE is strong.”

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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