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Tempe Mill Avenue New Year's Block Party Scaling Back
New Year’s Eve isn’t quite what it used to be in Tempe. The Mill Avenue Block Party is carrying on but scaling back.
The Block Party has been losing attendance in recent years. The celebration once drew more than 100,000 New Year’s Eve revelers. But that was back in the days of the Fiesta Bowl, which brought with it a parade, major headlining acts and a gigantic bowl of salsa.
When the Fiesta Bowl left Tempe, a non-profit organization tried to carry on the tradition. But producing the event cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even after attempting various public/private partnerships, it was still losing revenue.
Kate Borders, executive director of the Downtown Tempe Authority, says the events of this year’s Block Party will be coordinated by the individual business on Mill Avenue.
"This is what they’re good at," Borders said. "They excel at event planning and throwing great parties for New Year's Eve, so we just feel it’s best for us to let them do that."
Borders says organizers expect about 20,000 to 30,000 partygoers this year. Mill Avenue will still be closed to traffic, and admission will be free.