Music to Big Ole's ears: Musical playground site approved

Alexandria Rotary has raised money to pay for the instruments.

Big Ole Central Park.jpg
Big Ole Central Park in Alexandria. (Al Edenloff / Echo Press)

Big Ole may soon be getting more company.

The Alexandria Rotary Club presented a proposal to the Alexandria City Council Monday to build a musical playground in Big Ole Central Park, in the grassy area just east of the Viking statue.

As a community project, the club has raised $25,000 and plans to purchase five to seven outdoor musical instruments such as bells, drums and chimes, according to Julie Stern, Alexandria Rotary Club president.

If the club is able to raise an additional $5,000, it would add benches and landscaping to the musical playground, Stern said.

The council agreed to the club’s request to authorize the use of the playground at the park.


The cost for the city to maintain the playground, such as replacing mallets for instruments, is estimated at $200 to $300 a year.

“These instruments are currently in many communities in which young and old enjoy playing, even if they have no musical training,” Rotary members told the council.

A company that makes the instruments, Freenotes Harmony Park, describes them as “innovatively designed, durable, sustainable and perfectly tuned sound sculptures that enhance any outdoor space.”

The Rotary Club hopes to complete the project by June 1. Those who want to contribute may make a check payable to Rotary 5950 Foundation and give it to a Rotarian or mail to Box 1032, Alexandria, MN 56308.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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