Organizers of the Olde Main Street Days are calling the first time event a success.
Main Street came alive over the weekend with street vendors, artist demonstrations, wild west re-enactments and train rides for the kids.
There were 45 vendors at the event, including local artists painting and giving demonstrations at Deming Park. The sawmill whistle sounded at noon Saturday again for the first time in years.
Gordon Whiting, owner of the sawmill properties arrived with his wife, Annette, and their friends from Australia.
Whiting’s family owned the original working sawmill, then Kaibab Lumber Company, and operated it between 1951 and 1993. The property, now Sawmill Crossing, remains in the family.
Jimmy Connolly acquired the whistle when the sawmill was torn down. He and Whiting agreed to mount it on top of the Sawmill Theatres in 2002 after getting petitions from residents, including Anna Mae Deming and students from Payson Elementary School.
The whistle went silent again for repairs and complaints from a few residents who mostly objected to it blowing at 7 a.m.
Whiting recently invested in a new compressor for the whistle and the revived whistle will blow everyday at noon and 5 p.m.
Olde Main Street Days inaugural event started Friday evening and ran all day Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was the main event with Main Street closed to traffic.
Originally the closure was between Meadow and 703 W. Main, but the Payson Fire Department amended the plan for safety reasons and moved the closure to the west of Westerly. They also changed the closure period to 6:30 p.m. to accommodate events at the Senior Center and Humane Society Resale Store.
At Deming Pioneer Park, artist Don Morris displayed a rendering of the upcoming mural for the back wall of Sawmill Theatres. Morris also helped paint the mural at Rim Country Flowers.
Due to its size, the mural at Sawmill will take more time.
“We projected the image on the wall at Rim Country Flowers for that mural,” said Morris. “This wall is much higher and presents challenges. We will need to break it up in sections to sketch the design.”
Minette Hart said a group of artists will begin working on the mural next week after finishing up another mural on the fence by the apple orchard.
Duza’s Kitchen, a restaurant that moved into 703 W. Main from Phoenix, offered Bosnian finger sausages on pita bread and Balkan side salad for $5 prepared by Mensur Duzic and Jack Etter. The restaurant was busy all day with people eager to taste their food.
The restaurant officially opened on Oct. 9. Just outside of the restaurant, local artists, including Hart, Susan McIntyre and April Bower painted a crosswalk. It is the first painted crosswalk on Main Street.
Hart reported at the Main Street Merchants Guild meeting Monday night that the design had to be changed at the last minute. Trever Fleetham, economic development and planning manager for the town, said the crosswalk lights and buttons are on order and will be installed as soon as possible.
For entertainment, a local re-enactment group acted out scenes from the Old West days at the Oxbow Saloon and the Payson Petticoats and Oxbow Outfit, in Old West period attire, later engaged with the crowd and posed by the “Hanging Tree” outside the Humane Society’s Resale Store & Vintage Boutique. Sol DeVille played outside Serendipity on Main.
At Monday’s guild meeting, Shelley Wayland, owner of Body Elegance Day Spa, said she gave historical tours of her building.
Mayor Tom Morrissey attended and said, “I talked to every vendor and half the people on the street. I didn’t get one complaint, everyone was very enthusiastic about it.”
Mary Hansen, with the Oxbow Saloon, reported 10 new sign-ups for next year’s event.
“The Deming family was (at the event) and Louise Deming will bring information on the Deming horse statue for the windows,” she said.
Upcoming events on Main Street include the tree lighting on Nov. 30 at Deming Pioneer Park and the Electric Light Parade on Dec. 7.
Businesses and vendors interested in participating in the parade, can contact Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism at 928-472-5110 for a registration form.