Clarkesville testing outdoor music system

It’s beginning to look – and sound – a lot like Christmas in downtown Clarkesville. That’s because not only is the city now all decked out in lights for the season, it’s piping Christmas music outdoors.

That’s right, those lovely strains you’re hearing as you pass through the Clarkesville Square aren’t just on your radio or in your head…the music is playing on outdoor speakers set up for a demonstration. Clarkesville is testing the new StreetSounds outdoor speaker system for the next two weeks.

For fun and function

Billed as a “state-of-the-art” system, StreetSounds is a streaming wireless audio system. For those techies among you, the system consists of a 900 MHz wireless radio, an internal 70 watt 2-channel audio amplifier, weatherproof speakers, and mounting brackets designed for simple mounting to a street-light or traffic-light pole. The system is already in place in other municipalities, including Laurens, SC.

The system can be used to provide real-time audio for seasonal music, festivals, parades, road races, ambient background music in shopping areas, as well as emergency announcements and Mass Notification.

“The idea is to just get a feel for what it would be like to have a quality outdoor sound system in place- for events or just background music to add to the ambience and charm of the downtown business area”  explains Main Street Manager, Mary Beth Horton.

The Clarkesville demo will last through December 11th.

Public feedback sought

The City of Clarkesville decided to hold the demo during the Christmas shopping season, including the city’s annual tree-lighting event on December 10th. “We will have soft seasonal music playing during select hours, and we have arranged it so that the entertainment on stage on the night of the event will be heard all the way throughout the square,” Horton says.

The music will run 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily during the demonstration.

Mike Hooper of StreetSounds, says merchants and residents shouldn’t worry about the volume or music length. “The entire system can be remotely controlled and monitored from a central PC running a powerful Network Management System (NMS). The NMS gives the operator control over each wireless unit so that either individual units, or groups of units (“zones”), can be turned on or off and volume increased or decreased from the central management location.”

Horton encourages the community to provide their feedback on the sound system. “This is just a demo.  It may or may not be for Clarkesville, but we certainly wanted to give it a try to see what everyone thinks:  our merchants, our downtown residents and of course, our shoppers and visitors!”

Current plans are to install two demo speakers – one on the East side of the square and the other at corner of Washington/Green Street.

For more information on StreetSounds visit or provide your feedback on the demo by emailing Mary Beth Horton at

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