Carousel en­thu­si­asts rally at Lake Winnie

Carousel Or­gan As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica mem­bers to learn and en­ter­tain with crank-or­gan con­certs

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - OUT & ABOUT - BY SUSAN PIERCE STAFF WRITER

About 40 mem­bers of the Carousel Or­gan As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica are com­ing from 12 states — as far away as Kansas, Min­nesota and Florida — to en­joy the an­tique carousel at Lake Win­nepe­saukah amuse­ment park and to en­ter­tain guests with their own or­gan grinders.

The COAA rally will be held Satur­day-Mon­day, May 26-28, at the Rossville, Ge­or­gia, park. The COAA is an in­ter­na­tional group of about 900 mem­bers across the U. S. as well as Europe, England, Aus­tralia and Ja­pan.

They are ded­i­cated to pre­serv­ing and shar­ing knowl­edge about all types of me­chan­i­cal- mu­si­cal in­stru­ments. They call the sound made by these tin­kling in­stru­ments “the hap­pi­est music on earth.”

“They will be bring­ing at least two large carousel or­gans and 18 crank or­gans to the park,” says COAA mem­ber Ted Guil­laum of Nashville.

“Most of the or­gans will be of Euro­pean de­sign and come from Hol­land, Ger­many, Aus­tria and England as well as the United States.”

The rally isn’t just for COAA mem­bers’ en­joy­ment, but park vis­i­tors, too.

Around 2 p. m. Satur­day and Sun­day, the COAA mem­bers will line up near the lake stage and play “crank- or­gan con­certs” for park guests.

“Vis­i­tors will have the op­por­tu­nity to see and hear over $100,000$125,000 worth of me­chan­i­cal in­stru­ments,” Guil­laum says. “The re­main­der of the time, the or­gans will be scat­tered through­out the park where you can visit with each owner, ask ques­tions and per­haps crank an or­gan.”

This is the 14th rally to be held at Lake Winnie, says Guil­laum.

“The Lake Winnie carousel and or­gan are very his­tor­i­cal. It is a fine ex­am­ple of what you could have ex­pe­ri­enced at amuse­ment parks 100 years ago,” Guil­laum says

Lake Winnie spokes­woman Tal­ley Green says, “Lake Winnie’s Car­rousel — we use the Euro­pean spell­ing with two Rs — was built in 1916 by the Philadel­phia To­bog­gan Co. It fea­tures 68 hand­carved and hand-painted horses. No two are alike. The car­rousel also fea­tures two or­nate char­i­ots and hand-painted mu­rals that form the canopy.”

The Lake Winnie rally is the first of five for COAA mem­bers this sum­mer, and the only one in the South. Guil­laum says al­though many of the COAA events take place in the north­east­ern parts of the U.S., mem­bers en­joy the Lake Winnie rally be­cause it gives them a chance to present their me­chan­i­cal- music in­stru­ments to peo­ple in a re­gion where these kinds of in­stru­ments are not as com­mon.

The COAA af­ter­noon con­certs are free and are in­cluded in park ad­mis­sion of $34.95 plus tax.

For more in­for­ma­tion: 706-866-5681.

JOHN ROBINSON PHOTO

The carousel at Lake Win­nepe­saukah was built in 1916 by the Philadel­phia To­bog­gan Co. It fea­tures 68 hand-carved and hand-painted horses, and no two are alike.

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