Rail Trail Symphony Opens with a Musical Parade

April 24, 2017 12:05 pm


CHARLOTTE—(April 4, 2017) The Rail Trail Symphony, a musical interlude along Charlotte’s Rail Trail, is holding an interactive, family-friendly, grand opening on April 11 from 4:30-5 p.m.


Fountains Southend will host brief remarks by Michael Smith, Vi Lyles and Aisha Alexander of KaBOOM! about the project and what it will do for the Trail. Immediately following those remarks, guests will grab an instrument and march in a musical parade to the Rail Trail Symphony site led by DrumStrong. At the site, DrumStrong will lead an interactive drum circle.


Charlotte Center City Partners submitted the Rail Trail Symphony grant proposal in the KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challenge, a national competition awarding innovative ideas to make play easy, available, and fun for kids and families in cities across the U.S. The concept of CCCP’s design was to connect neighborhoods along the Trail through music and interactive play.  In September 2016 CCCP won a $20,000 grant to design and install it.


The completed Rail Trail Symphony includes colorful instruments (chimes and drums), seating options, and a small performance stage in a grassy area near the New Bern station along the LYNX Blue Line, next to the B-cycle station. The Symphony is intended to be a fun, playful project for people of all ages to interact with while they are waiting for the train or passing by on the Trail.


“Like the opening of Edna’s Porch in November, the Rail Trail Symphony gives visitors another whimsical interlude along this urban greenway”, said Erin Gillespie, Planning and Development Associate with Charlotte Center City Partners. “The project was made possible only through the support and hard work from our community partners.”


This project concept builds on partnerships with the Bethlehem Center’s after-school program to introduce students and families to the Rail Trail Initiative. The City of Charlotte, Historic South End, Playmore Design Corporation, DRUMSTRONG, Pacific Builders, Central Piedmont Community College Graphic Design class and ACSM at C3 Lab are all partners for this project.



Research shows play is vital to healthy brain development and is pivotal to how kids learn problem-solving, conflict resolution, and creativity–in other words, the skills they need to succeed as adults. Yet today, too many kids, especially those growing up in poverty, are missing out on opportunities for play because of families’ time pressures, the lure of screens, and a lack of safe places to go. Meanwhile, evidence shows missing out on play time puts kids at risk for challenges ranging from obesity to anxiety to trouble adjusting in school.


The Play Everywhere Challenge is hosted by KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. It was developed in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts, attracted an outpouring of creative ideas to spark kids’ imaginations and get their bodies moving.


To learn more about Charlotte Center City Partners’ ideas for making play happen everywhere in Charlotte, contact Steven Cole. To learn more about the Rail Trail, please visit http://www.charlotterailtrail.org/.


About Charlotte Center City Partners

Charlotte Center City Partners envisions and implements strategies and actions to drive the economic, social and cultural development of Charlotte’s Center City. The organization envisions a Center City in Charlotte that is viable, livable, memorable, and sustainable, with modern infrastructure, a tapestry of unique neighborhoods, and a diversity of thriving businesses. Charlotte Center City Partners provides administrative, marketing, communications and management support for the 7th Street Public Market.

For more information, please visit www.charlottecentercity.org.


About the Charlotte Rail Trail


Charlotte’s Rail Trail is a vibrant public trail that winds through the very heart of our city, where the unexpected can be found around every bend. The 4.5 mile trail connects communities and knits together neighborhoods from Sedgefield, Southside Park, Brookhill, Dilworth, Wilmore, and South End to Uptown, but it belongs to everyone in the Queen City.

For more information, please visit www.charlotterailtrail.org


About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. For more information, please visit https://kaboom.org/about_kaboom.

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