The 2011 New Year’s Eve Family Celebration took place at the Salt River Community Building parking lot on December 31 from 4 p.m. until midnight. Midway rides and game booths were set up, and the Teen Dance for ages 13-17 featured DJ Tony and was held inside the Community Building. At 8 p.m. Two Rivers Band played Chicken Scratch inside the Pi-Copa Gym. The wristband presales totaled 160 for the 2011 celebration.
Last year’s chicken scratch dance attracted 1,039 participants. Attendance for the Teen Dance was 211. The presale wristbands for the 2010 sale were 60, while the on-site sales were 1,274.
Community Relations Events Coordinator Yvonne Schaaf said they were expecting to increase those numbers to about 1,400 for the entire 2011 celebration. There were four food vendors this year.
The event planning for next year’s celebration begins in August.
“We secure bands and DJ’s, contracts with vendors (Brown’s Amusement for the rides, and Fireworks Production of Arizona for the midnight fireworks show) as well as plotting the event layout,” Schaaf said. They work hand in hand with the following departments: Salt River Fire Department (public safety, food booth structure, inspection of rides), Salt River Police Department (public safety), Public Works (event set-up, use of Community Building and surrounding area), Human Resources (temporary staff to work as parking attendants and clean-up staff), Recreation (ticket sales, use of the Salt River Gym and surrounding properties), Youth Services (Teen Dance), Engineering and Construction Services (inspection of entire event site) and Community Development (compliance).
Schaaf noted, “The Events office is the sole lead for this annual Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council-approved event. We handle all logistics, contract writing, marketing, budgeting and final set-up of this event.”
Schaaf said she heard nothing but positive feedback on the event, saying there is literally something for everyone to enjoy.
“The Community [members are] always thankful that they are able to bring their families out to this event and not “break the bank,” as the wristbands to ride all the rides are only $5, and that’s for the whole night,” she explained. “With the economy the way it is today, they appreciate not having to go too far, pay for parking and entrance fees, and fight crowds to have a good time.”
She said she is happy they can provide an affordable evening for the Community and said thanks should definitely go to Council for their continued support of this event and for the recognition of its importance to the families of Salt River and Lehi.