Local musicians and nearly 50 vendors will celebrate the Oct. 5 opening of Tempe’s newest venue, the Hayden Flour Mill on Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway.
The Hayden Flour Mill, built in the late 1800s, has been closed to the public for nearly 15 years.
The event, which will take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., will include live music, food and a speech from Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Diane Enos in dedication to the first settlers of Tempe.
City of Tempe spokeswoman Kristina Baxter-Ging said the mill is significant to the Tempe community.
“It is the founding business of our city and the reason for the name of Mill Avenue,”
When the mill first opened, it was responsible for the production of food and gave a place for farmers to mill their grain, she said.
“It … gave a reason for more businesses to form and for more people to live in what is now Tempe,” Baxter-Ging said.
The public was first able to set foot on the grounds May 22, when the fences surrounding the building were taken down.
Construction on the mill began in May 2011 after the Rio Salado Foundation raised $350,000 to remodel the historic landmark.
Restoration included additions of a lawn, trees, an interpretative museum, a stage and lighting strung around the grassed area. The site was also cleaned.
The Downtown Tempe Community, a nonprofit organization working to enhance the Mill Avenue District, has started booking events for the new venue.
“It’s a beautiful place for a venue,” Baxter-Ging said. “We are hoping people show up and have a great time.”
Members of the general public can rent the venue for family reunions, weddings, concerts or even yoga, Baxter-Ging said.
Modern folk music group Jared & the Mill will play at the Friday event.
Four ASU students and one alumnus, who all live in Tempe, formed the folk band more than a year ago.
After going on tour this summer, the band changed their name from Jared Kolesar and the Locals to something more memorable and meaningful to the band.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Larry Gast said the group chose to put “the mill” at the end of their name because they felt that the Hayden Flour Mill was very iconic.
Gast, a music and business senior, said the name has a nice ring to it and goes well with their music too.
“You want to have imagery that goes with the name,” he said.
Gast said opening a new venue in Tempe would give the town a chance to value original music.
“We now have a place where we can like creative music,” he said.
Lead singer, songwriter and band founder Jared Kolesar, a music senior, said he couldn’t be more excited to play at the Hayden Flour Mill.
“It’s really an honor to be the first band to play on that stage,” Kolesar said.
October 2, 2012
Source: State Press
By Ana Ramirez