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Huntsville piano drop kick-starts 2020

An old piano, signed by hundreds of people, will be dropped from 20 feet in the air to the ground when the clock hits midnight.

Posted: Dec 31, 2019 9:22 PM
Updated: Dec 31, 2019 10:33 PM

The New Year is set to start with a bang in Huntsville as part of the 5th annual piano drop at midnight at Booth's Lumberyard.

New York City has the famous ball drop in Times Square, but Lumberyard owner Doug Smith brought the piano drop to the Rocket City. 

An old piano, signed by hundreds of people, will be dropped from 20 feet in the air to the ground when the clock hits midnight. The piano contains a list of names of musicians who died in 2019, while people in the community wrote messages and signed their own names around it. 

"We scour around and find old pianos that people want to get out of their houses, we move them for free, take the load off, it's an unplayable piano," Doug Smith, said. 

Smith owns a recording studio in Huntsville along with his restaurant on Cleveland Avenue. He says the idea came to him years ago, when he was remembering musicians who died.

"You've got to celebrate them a little better than that, so we came up with the idea of putting their names on a piano and dropping it at the end of the year," Smith said. 

The old, worn down piano doesn't make a sound anymore, well, except a bang. It's something one man says he couldn't miss.

"I literally just moved to Huntsville a few months ago and already, I heard about the Lumberyard and piano drop, going on 5 years strong now!" Joseph Montalto said. 

While many see it as a symbol to ring in the New Year, Smith sees it as something more.

"Look at the names of the musicians and go oh I don't know who Jake Black is, and Google him, and find out who we lost, because a lot of these people created music that inspired me to follow my career," Smith said. 

Once the piano is dropped and destroyed, people can keep a piece of the piano to remember the year.

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