with Michael Lum

The Spreckles Organ in Balboa Park… Sundays @ 2pm

When the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was dedicated on New Year’s Eve, 1914, in Balboa Park, it was hailed the largest outdoor instrument in the world. A magnificent machine, superbly maintained, it still is.

John D. Spreckels gave San Diego the organ on the condition that the concerts always be presented free. So they are every Sunday afternoon, year round, usual San Diego clement weather or not. In the summer the Spreckels Organ Society presents a weekly Organ Festival, the largest organ festival in the country. These Monday evening concerts are without charge as well.

by day……… OR                                by night………….

Locals and tourists alike come to relax and enjoy the concerts.Some bring dogs. Parents wheel in infants. Couples sit in the back and neck. Others set up picnic tables and light candles.

The Pavillion has been host to many venues, weddings

a Christmas concert, or Silent Film night

Most, though, sit up close and let a monster’s vibrations tickle their flesh and sear their eardrums.  Once  a woman put her blanket on the pavement and listened lying on her back enjoying the stars. These powerful pipes could easily drown out the low-flying aircraft landing at the much-too-nearby San Diego International Airport.

Spreckels is a special organ. San Diego helps pay the salary of a full-time curator, Lyle Blackinton, but the private society raises the rest of the approximately quarter of a million dollars it takes for upkeep of the organ’s delicate machinery and to present the concerts. 

Donations are sought from the public as well, but no one is fleeced at the concerts.  At the Society’s snack table, sandwiches cost $2.  At the gift shop, DVDs are $5. A sense of community is strong.

The city keeps the Pavillion clean and well maintained for all to enjoy for many years to come

So take out your calendar and write in a date to go spend an afternoon or evening enjoying a FREE concert……….


One Response to “The Spreckles Organ in Balboa Park… Sundays @ 2pm”

  1. That is awesome. In all my years of going to San Diego, I’ve never heard of it before. Will need to plan a trip to SD, when I can stay over, and attend a concert!

    Thanks Michael!

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