The Valparaiso Kiwanis Club added a touch of culture and summer magic to the streets of Valpo on Thursday, June 20. The Club organized a setup of ten pianos throughout the downtown to be played by any passersby. This maze of music gives anyone a chance to take a seat and fill the air with tunes.
Steve and Aaron Ingram, a father and son duo, first spear-headed the event and since then organize the event each year and plan to keep the tradition. If you are wondering where someone gets ten pianos, the answer is through the generosity of the community. Kiwanis Club has purchased some of the pianos, and others have been donated.
Aaron Ingram explained, “We saw the idea somewhere and thought it’d be cool to bring it to Valpo. The purpose is just to let anyone play music whenever they want.”
The Ingrams express that the musical feat would not be possible without the generous help of man power from Two Men and A Truck. The company has volunteered every year hulling, heaving, and lugging the pianos to their respected places for the Kiwanis Club.
Leader of the moving team Mike Shane explained, “Two Men and a Truck International was started in Michigan. The first year the company earned $1000 profit and donated $100 to ten different charities. So we believe in giving back to the community and doing as much as we can.”
There will be plenty of opportunity to show off musical talent with ten pianos throughout town. The locations are Don Quixote, Pat’s Ice Cream Parlor, The Memorial Opera House, Valley Kitchen & Bar, The Court House Square, Seasons on the Square, Bistro 157, Margarita’s Bar & Grill, Central Park, and Cornucopia Coffee. The pianos will be out for two weeks until July 8.
The community of Valparaiso has also done its part in keeping the program alive. In all the time the pianos have spent sitting on the streets through the years, not one has been tampered with.
Ingram said, “For the past years, in none of the two week periods has somebody messed with or disrespected the pianos. It is a great response from the people and the area.”
Everyone and anyone is encouraged to come out and play the pianos. Have some fun, dance a little, and snap some photos of musicians in action. Share your photos by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org