STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
Steve Reitz remembers a family trip to Silverton, Colorado, because of one of the city’s downtown features: a musical instrument installation.
“From 2 years old to 100, everyone hit (one of those instruments) once or twice,” said Reitz, the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. board president. “It was a real asset for that location downtown.”
Now, with proposed funding to be split between the EDC and the Hotel Occupancy Tax reserve fund, the same feature could be in downtown Marble Falls later this spring.
Harmony Park — to be located on Main Street next to the new downtown public restroom — will have five instruments with attached mallets, letting people make their own music with while spending time downtown.
“What we’re looking for is you’ve got to have points of interest, and that’s a great point of interest for people of all ages,” said Marble Falls City Manager Mike Hodge.
Funding for the park was approved during separate EDC and HOT committee meetings Feb. 6 and Feb. 7, respectively, at $20,000 each. The projected cost is just over $44,000, but Hodge said he does not expect the final total to be that high.
The funds for the project must first be approved by Marble Falls City Council during its next regular meeting Feb. 19. Then, the instruments can be ordered.
Marble Falls Downtown Coordinator Erin Burks said the instruments take six to eight weeks for delivery and should be installed by the city later this spring.
“I think it’s super fun and super unique,” Burks said.
After doing research on similar parks, Burks discovered that the oldest in the country — in Utah — has instruments that have been in place for more than 30 years.
Harmony Park will include contrabass chimes, a xylophone-like merry, two other chimes instruments — a manta ray and a swirl — and lilypad cymbals. Along with the instruments, the park will have landscaping and upgraded lighting, which will include color-changing LED lights.