Art association

Have a Ball: Art Association of Harrisburg brings back a gala, with costumes, music, food

Harrisburg Arts Association

The Art Association of Harrisburg is bringing back its signature event featuring extravagant music, food and costumes.

The 2022 Blue-Green Gala to support local arts organization will be held April 2 at the Harrisburg Country Club.

“It’s always a great event,” said President Carrie Wissler-Thomas. “Everyone needs a chance to dress up and get wild and crazy and have a good time.”

This is the first year that the association has organized the event since the start of the pandemic. Last year’s gala was held virtually.

Wissler-Thomas said the annual gala, which began in 1941, has always been a great social event. However, he also plays an important role in raising funds to support the association.

“We depend on that,” Wissler-Thomas said. “It’s very encouraging for us.”

Historically, the event has incorporated themed costumes. Previously called the Masquerade Ball, the gala featured performers dressed in themes including “Hollywood,” “Las Vegas” and “time machine,” among others. This year’s theme is “blue-green”, and participants are encouraged to dress in these colors. That could include anything from a blue dress to a Grinch-inspired green outfit, Wissler-Thomas said.

Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams and philanthropist Peggy Grove, event chair, will judge the costume contest.

During happy hour, the band, The Two Beat Dames, will play music from the 1920s, and DJ Jonathan Frazier will provide the music for the rest of the evening.

The Country Club will be serving a plated dinner, as well as hors d’oeuvres and dessert.

There will also be a silent auction with artwork to bid on and a draw for wine.

Over the years, the gala has been held in locations around town, some formal, some casual. The event organizers were constantly reimagining the event to adapt to changing times.

When the gala started, hundreds of people attended dressed in elaborate costumes. Funds raised from the galas even enabled the Art Association to purchase its current building on Front Street.

“It really was Harrisburg’s big social event,” Wissler-Thomas said.

She doesn’t yet know what to expect this year, but hopes the event will be a success.

Tickets are available for purchase and required for the event. The association prefers that participants register before March 15th.

“It’s going to be fun,” Wissler-Thomas said. “We all need that right now.”

Harrisburg Country Club is located at 401 Fishing Creek Valley Rd., Harrisburg. For more information or to purchase tickets for the Art Association’s Blue-Green Gala, visit their website.

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