You Need to Come See This! Bring Your Children

Seeing the 42nd Annual Band Organ Rally in Marietta OH, brought back memories of a player piano — I’m serious!

I’ll never forget the player piano in our basement. And yes, they were right next to the swings my father hung from the ceiling – one for each of us so we’d have a play area inside on rainy days! It was so much fun to watch the perforated paper roll turn while the keys depressed themselves and played piano music — as though a ghost was entertaining us.

That concept is behind the band organs that were found on fairgrounds from around 1880s to 1920s, and even a little later. One did not have to be a musician to play them.

And like all great historical devices, and musical traditions, there are always people who keep the music playing for the rest of us, on into the future. I arrived today before the sun to find a carousel on the Armory lawn, so I took a photo, then later took more photos when it was in operation. Somehow I missed this event in the events section! This morning, I found people setting up their band organs on the armory lawn and around Front Street.

What You May Want to Know:

Marietta always buzzes with activity in the summer and the next two days won’t be any different. The Marietta Times has published a short history of this event, and it’s worth reading. And we all know that Wikipedia isn’t good enough for an academic paper, yet we all use it for basic information, so here is more info on the history of band organs if you’re interested. On the page I link to at the end of this paragraph, you can find details of what is happening right now and into the weekend. It all ends Saturday night, so make sure you check out the details here. Seriously, if you have children, let them experience this walk back in time!

Here are some of the organizers and participants:

Participants of 42nd Annual Band Organ Rally, Marietta OH

HAPPY CAROUSELSome of the band organs, or “calliopes” setting up this morning:









So what are you waiting for? Check out the Band Organ event page at Marietta dot org and bring your children down!