HYRUM – The folks at the Hyrum City Museum are inviting everyone to celebrate the ringing in of the 2020 New Year by inviting all to Elite Hall for dinner and dancing on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 31.
The Elite Hall, built in 1915, has been the meeting place of countless couples over the years. One such couple was Sonja and Richard Miller of Hyrum.
“We went on a blind date to the Elite Hall when we were just 16 years-old,” said Sonja Miller. “And we’ve been happily married for 62 years.”
Miller also taught dance to the “Milleretts” in the building for over 25 years. Those hosting next Tuesday’s event hope to create more magic for future and current couples.
The Roaring 20’s Great Gatsby-themed event will begin at 7 p.m. with dinner catered by Firehouse Pizzeria and live music by the 4th Street Jazz Combo.
Jami J. Van Huss, Director of the Hyrum City Museum, said their theme this New Year’s is Roaring into 2020.
“There will be free dance instruction on the Hall’s famous spring-loaded floor,” Van Huss said. “You’ll want to dress to impress, since prizes for the best costumes will be awarded at 9 p.m.”
The evening will conclude with watching the ball drop live from New York at 10 p.m. and to celebrate the New Year they will have a giant balloon shower.
“Tickets are available online at eventbrite, or at the door,” Van Huss said. “All tickets are $10 and include the dinner.”
All proceeds from the New Year’s activity will support the restoration of the community treasure, she said.
“Everyone who comes to the event will not only have a super time, but will support a great cause,” Van Huss said. “Rehabilitative construction is scheduled to begin April 2020.”
A group of community volunteers formed a committee in 2015, after a feasibility study confirmed the building was sound. The committee started raising money to restore the building to its glory years.
“Since the group was formed, they have hosted dozens of events, raising thousands of dollars and demonstrated the community still loves to gather at the Elite Hall,” she said. “Working with Hyrum City and Utah State Historic Preservation Office, we plan to add an annex to the east side of the building, restore the masonry, upgrade the electrical and climate control system.”
They also want to upgrade the seismic issues of the structure. Van Huss said they hope to keep the cost of restoration under $2 million.
Jon Gudmundson, Utah State University Director of Jazz studies, loves to bring students and professionals to play at Elite Hall. He said it is a unique place.
“I think it’s cool that over 100 years ago, the people of Hyrum, this rural community, decided what they needed most was a dance hall,” he said. “If it was up to me, we would want to play here year after year for all time.”