It was supposed to be outside, but that pesky rain forced them inside.

If you were staying at the Westin Portland Harborview in Portland on Tuesday, June 20, you were treated to a ukulele flash mob of about 100 players. The Portland Press Herald reports that they were supposed to play on Portland’s Congress Square Park, but that rain. That never-ending rain made them shift, modify and adapt. The organizer of the flash mob, Lee Urban, asked the manager of the Westin if they could use their lobby and he said of course.

It all happened at noon when Lee was at the top of the lobby’s stairs and started strumming his ukulele. Then other players stepped out from around the hotel and joined in. They sang and played three songs: 'Down by the Riverside,' 'When the Saints Go Marching In' and 'This Land is Your Land.' They did an encore performance of 'When the Saints Go Marching In' as they left the hotel since the rain had let up.

Photo by Andrey Grodz on Unsplash
Photo by Andrey Grodz on Unsplash

It's not easy finding and then organizing 100 ukulele players to gather all at once. Lee has been at this since March. It was a hit. You can't be in the presence of a flash mob of any kind and not smile. But especially when it's ukuleles! The hotel's marketing directory, Carline Deburyckere told the Press Herald,

It just was so nice to see so many different people, so many different ages, coming together over music and to just give a little bit of joy.

They also collected donations for Ukuleles Heal the World, a Maine nonprofit started by Lee Urban back in 2017 that runs free ukulele camps for disadvantaged children. Each kiddo leaves camp with a free ukulele.

This is contagious and makes me want to pick up a ukulele and join the fun!


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