2nd dine and dance benefits festival stageNovember 25, 2019
By LEANN BURKE
HUNTINGBURG — The stage is set for a night of dining and dancing.
Dubois County Tourism is hosting its second Holiday Dine and Dance on Dec. 28 to raise money to help fund a portable event stage the organization purchased last year for use at events across the county.
“What this will do is help keep the cost on rental for community organizations to use the stage,” said Gary Schnell, one of the event organizers.
Currently, community organizations pay $1,000 to rent the stage, which adheres to all safety standards set after a stage collapsed at the 2011 Indiana State Fair. Dubois County Tourism Executive Director Kevin Manley said basic stages typically rent for $1,500, with the cost increasing to $5,000 or more.
Dubois County Tourism’s stage is portable and hydraulic, so setup takes about 20 minutes. It’s also the largest size available — 24-by-32.
“If we want to bring in major talent, that’s a big enough stage,” Manley said.
Since Dubois County Tourism purchased the stage last year, nine festivals have used it, including the Jasper Strassenfest. Next year, Manley said, there are already 11 events signed up to use it.
Mike Ackerman, who serves on the Strassenfest Committee and is helping organize the Holiday Dine and Dance, said the stage worked out well for the Strassenfest, as it allowed them to set up faster and lessen the disruption businesses in downtown Jasper experienced during setup for the festival.
Dubois County Tourism purchased the stage for $155,000. Now, the organization is trying to recoup those funds. So far, Manley said, about $45,000 has been recouped. Those funds came from a grant from the Dubois County Community Foundation, private donations and last year’s Holiday Dine and Dance held at the Calumet. That event was a joint fundraiser between the Strassenfest Committee and Dubois County Tourism.
This year, Dubois County Tourism is hosting the Holiday Dine and Dance on its own at the Huntingburg Event Center. Next year, Manley said, the organization hopes to hold the dance again, this time in Ferdinand. Since the stage is used by organizations from across the county, organizers hope the dine and dance can become a countywide event.
“We’re hoping we get people from other parts of the county out to have a good time with us and benefit something that’s good for the county as a whole,” Ackerman said.
This year’s Holiday Dine and Dance will feature Jayne Bond and the Pink Martinis, a 10-member band that performs hits from the 1960s through today, and focuses on audience interaction in their shows. Schnell said the band performed at Strassenfest in 2016, and was well received. He described the band as “a high energy group that really gets the crowd involved.”
The event will also include a meal of smoked pork chops and fried chicken, assorted sides and desserts.
Tickets are $48 per person or $384 for an eight-seat table, and can be purchased at the Dubois County Visitors Center, the Jasper Chamber of Commerce, Sell4Free Realty, Ackerman Oil, Uebelhor TV, Destination Huntingburg and German American Bank’s Huntingburg location. You can also purchase them online here.
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