Downtown trees are nothing new, but the Sonic Forest in downtown Greensboro on Saturday, Nov. 28 is a little different from your average downtown street tree.

Downtown Greensboro Inc. (DGI) along with Allegacy programming is bringing the Sonic Forest to Hamburger Square and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive for the month of December at no cost to the public.

The Sonic Forest is an “Urban Musical Forest” that offers a multi-sensory, interactive experience. It’s part of Christopher Janney’s “Urban Musical Instruments” series and has been touring the world since 2005. However, each installation is different with adjustments being made to the experience.

The Sonic Forest is composed of 16, 8-foot-tall columns, 10 inches in diameter, which contain audio speakers, lights and photo-electric sensors. People don’t just walk through the forest, they interact with the trees, and those interactions trigger a series of events, from an original score of melodic tones and environmental sounds to spoken or whispered expressions against a background of an ever-changing color palette of LED lights.

People who walk through the Sonic Forest call up their own “musical oasis.”

Along with interacting with everyone who walks through the Sonic Forest will also sound the time of day on each hour. And if you just happen to be walking past you might catch the Sonic Forest entertaining itself by playing for short intervals when it thinks there is no one else around.

DGI President Zack Matheny said, “We truly thought outside the box for our Downtown in December experiences this year, and Sonic Forest is evidence of that. We wanted free, outdoor programming that any family would feel safe enjoying during this holiday season.

The Sonic Forest will be open to visitors at no charge from Saturday, Nov. 28 through Sunday, Dec. 27 from 9 10 p.m.

People enjoying the Sonic Forest are asked to wear a mask and maintain social distancing from other people, but you can get up close and personal with the trees.