CLARK, NJ — The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will kick off the 57th annual Summer Arts Festival Concert Series at Oak Ridge Park in Clark on Friday, June 23, at 7:30 p.m., the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation recently announced.

This year’s performance, conducted by Sameer Patel, will take the audience on a “Road Trip Across the USA,” NJSO-style. Travel from New Jersey through the heartland with John Williams’ moving score to Lincoln, to the Wild West and Copland’s iconic Rodeo, all the way to the Magic Kingdom with favorite music from Beauty and the Beast.

“The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is one of the state’s cultural treasures and we are excited to feature them as our opening act for our Summer Arts Festival,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “We encourage our residents to enjoy the music under the stars, and a memorable night of classical entertainment.”

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The show is free, and visitors are urged to pack a picnic basket, bring lawn chairs or blankets. Refreshments and snacks will also be available from vendors. In the event of rain the concert will be moved indoors to Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, located at 667 Westfield Road in Scotch Plains.

Returning this summer at all festival concerts will be Union County Get Fit Yoga program beginning at 6:30 p.m. Participants should bring a mat or beach towel. The opening week’s program will be conducted by Crunch of Garwood.

The other free concerts in the Union County Summer Arts Festival series are scheduled for Wednesday nights throughout July in Echo Lake and then in August at Oak Ridge Park in Clark:

Oak Ridge Park, Clark

June 23 New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Echo Lake Park, Mountainside

July   5 Pat Dinizio of The Smithereens

July 12 Tusk (Fleetwood Mac Tribute)

July 19 The Vinny’s

July 26 Hudson River Rats

Oak Ridge Park, Clark

August   2 Dead Space (The Grateful Dead Experience)

August   9 American Rapture

August 16 Black Dog (The Led Zeppelin Tribute)

August 23 New York State of Mind (Tribute to Billy Joel)