Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about making time to play, at local sports facilities, live music venues, indie movie theaters and fun places and spaces all around the Triangle.
Looking at the space that is now Haw River Ballroom it’s hard to imagine what it would have looked like when it was a busy textile mill dye house. Well, maybe not that hard to imagine because there are remnants of that former industrial purpose carefully integrated in the performance space (and part time ping pong palace).
The three-level venue sits at one end of Rivermill Village in Saxapahaw, just a few miles from Chapel Hill. From the outside looking up, one sees an outdoor deck overlooking the river, an expansive window wall and a beacon proclaiming “Haw River Ballroom” punched out on the side of an old dye vat. Inside the venue you’ll find Cup 22, a coffee and beverage bar that doubles as a box office for upcoming shows. From that mid level you have a clear view of the stage below where bands play and the floor where music fans dance. For another view, go up one flight of stairs to take in the beauty of the surrounding Saxapahaw countryside at sunset. The venue captures the pleasing aesthetics of internal architecture and external nature.
All the pretty packaging serves no purpose however, if the sound isn’t pitch perfect. Fortunately, intentionally, it is which is why national acts like to come play the ballroom. Speaking of upcoming bands, do you have plans for Halloween yet? Haw River Ballroom does.