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Thousands attend Pops concert

The lines extended to the streets on either side of the River Stage Thursday as people waited for the gates to open.
The lines extended to the streets on either side of the River Stage Thursday as people waited for the gates to open.

One company, Devon Energy, decided to participate by hosting its first July 3rd barbecue for  employees.

"This is our first time. We moved into this office in September 2012 and, last year, we really didn't know what all was going to transpire on July the 3rd; so, it caught us off guard," explained Tim Raley. So, we planned for it for this year."

For other spectators, waiting hours for the gates to open is a family tradition.

"We will have four generations sitting with our group... starting with my grandmother all the way down to my nephews; so, we have a large group and just multi-generations of people coming to enjoy the concert," attendee Jennifer White said.

White said she remembers the first time she and her sisters ran with the blankets.

"We started coming when I was quite young. My parents would do the running of the blanket then and then, when we got to an age we were old enough, they passed on that torch to us and we became, my sisters and I became the ones who ran," said White smiling. "So, we've been doing it ever since."

This day is so special to White and her family, one of her sisters came all the way from Russia to participate.

"It's a big deal. It's a really neat time for us and a time to celebrate our nation and a time to be thankful for the people in the military," continued White.

From family members already in White's family to those marrying in, this day will always be significant.

"We've even brought it fiancees and their initiation process for becoming members of our family was that they were going to run," finished White.

Read our previous coverage here:
Pops concert celebrates 27th year 7/3/14
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