Going back to school can really suck, so to ease the pain if you're an Arizona State University student, Taylor Place in downtown Phoenix is throwing a big ol' shindig to get the 1,000 students moving in acquainted with the downtown area. School starts Thursday, August 18, but today, August 15, students can get to know downtown a little better by checking out the more than 40 booths of vendors, local artists and volunteer groups showing off their services. The best part? Local community members are welcome, too.
There will also be performances by local bands Super Stereo and The Whisperlights. The groups may be fun and catchy to listen to, but according to Taylor Place community coordinator Shannon Conley, there's a deeper meaning to why they were chosen to showcase to students.
"The members of Super Stereo and The Whisperlights, in many ways, embody Phoenix and what it means to be an engaged Sun Devil," Conley says. "Both bands have firm roots in the local community, with members having been staples in the music community for many years. Additionally, the majority of members of each band have been or currently are students at Arizona State University."
Besides the music, some of the local businesses that will be represented at the massive block party include Dragon's Bikes (which will be raffling off a bicycle), Jobot Coffee, Conspire Artists Collective, Carly's Bistro and Fair Trade Cafe, which will be promoting their businesses amid The Whisperlights' Americana tunes and Super Stereo's pop anthems.
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"It's a party with a purpose," Conley says. "The overall goal of TaylorFest is to expand the understanding of the various ways to volunteer, get engaged and have fun in the downtown Phoenix community. Ultimately, we want our students to understand that they are citizens of the place that they live."
The free event goes from 8-10:30 p.m. on Taylor Street between 1st and 2nd Streets. For more information, go here.