Do you like live music, amazing atmosphere, good food, history, and maybe a glass of wine? Then you won’t want to miss the Friday Night Concert Series at historic Steam Pump Ranch. The Town of Oro Valley is proud to offer this family friendly event that includes music, food trucks, Sonoita Vineyards Winery, and activities for children. The concert series is well established and is held on the first Friday of the month in February, March and April.
Oro Valley began offering its Friday Night Concerts in 2018 and since that original date it has grown in both popularity and offerings. Prior to that first concert the town was unsure as to how they would be attended and received by the community. Much to our, and the attendees’ pleasure, that very first concert had a surprisingly large number of people in attendance and momentum was quickly generated for more opportunities to enjoy music at the ranch.
The town listened, and as a result has gone on to host more of these events each year, with a total of four concerts in 2018/2019, and this season we are scheduled to host a total of five concerts. Steam Pump Ranch makes for an amazing backdrop with unmatched views of the Catalina Mountains and a unique local history that visitors will see and feel when they step foot on the property.
The story of Steam Pump Ranch begin is the 1870s when the Pusch family settled on the property and utilized it as their ranch and home. George Pusch was a cattle rancher and a butcher by trade, but his notoriety in the area was because he owned a steam pump used for drawing water for a number of uses. It is through this steam pump that such groups as the Pony Express, mounted Cavalry and local Cattlemen came to obtain water.
The remains of the original pump house are still on property. Through a grant, the town was able to preserve the original pump house structure in a manner that intertwined original materials and new construction to protect the remaining building. Following the Pusch family, the next owners of the Ranch were the Procter family. John Procter managed the Pioneer Hotel in Tucson and grew produce at the ranch for the hotel as well as bringing guest to the ranch to enjoy the country. Their daughter Betty married professional baseball player Hank Leiber and they settled into the property for many years. Both were greatly involved in Tucson, creating their own rich history in the area. The ranch was purchased by the town in 2008 from the Leiber family to maintain the buildings as well as for the enjoyment of Oro Valley and Pima County residents.
The next Friday night concert takes place on Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. The music will be provided by the band Split Decision. Food trucks will be onsite that evening providing dinner options for concert goers. As the concerts have grown so has the demand for food, offering their delicious items are; Gigi’s Mexican and Peruvian Fusion, Jackie’s Food Court, Fat Noodle, and Lulu’s Sorbetto. Sonoita Vineyards Winery will also be at the ranch providing the opportunity for those wishing to enjoy a glass of wine with their meal, music, and fun. Outdoor heaters are also provided for cooler temperatures when the sun goes down.
The Friday Night Concert series will continue for two more months on the first Friday’s in March and April. We are excited to host Connie Brannock’s “Tiny House of Funk” on March 13, and the return of the “Hot Lizards” on April 3. All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. It is best to arrive early to find a seat or set up a blanket, some tables and chairs are available but bringing your own will assure you get a great seat.
Lynanne Dellerman-Silverthorn is the manager of Oro Valley Recreation & Cultural Services.