DCCA News: What a swell party this is

A few years back, Darke County Center for the Arts officials noticed that no local events existed celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and decided to fill that void. Thus began DCCA’s “Irish Wave,” a fun-filled celebration benefitting the organization’s many worthwhile programs including Arts In Education that provides highest-quality artists performing for every grade level in all local public schools at no cost to the students, and Family Theatre Series which offers children, their parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors the opportunity to enjoy professional theatrical productions at the low, low cost of $5 per ticket.

Helping fund essential DCCA offerings is reason enough to take part in “Irish Wave,” but that’s only the first of many good reasons to join the fundraising party.

Since DCCA’s purpose is to present and promote the arts, it’s no surprise to learn that the music at “Irish Wave” will be a major attraction. Lone Raven, one of the top Celtic bands in the Midwest, was founded by multi-instrumentalist Craig Markley and vocalist Kara Markley, who has studied fiddle with renowned players Eileen Ivers of Riverdance fame and Cape Breton’s Natalie McMaster. Virtuoso guitarist Neil Jacobs and fiery fiddler Elizabeth Blickenstaff complete the exciting ensemble, who will utilize multiple instruments to energize their audience with jigs and reels as well as mesmerize them with haunting Irish airs.

Even if you have not a drop of Irish blood in your veins, Lone Raven will inspire deep appreciation for the music of the Emerald Isle and instill the desire to hear more—which one lucky person will be able to accomplish by winning a visit to the source of the culture celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day; DCCA is sponsoring a limited edition raffle with a trip to Ireland as the prize! “Off to the Isle” raffle tickets are now on sale; the lucky winner of a $5000 voucher for an authentic Irish experience customized by travel specialists at Brendan Vacations will be announced at “Irish Wave.” Since just seventy-five tickets will be sold at $100 each, your chances of winning are obviously greater than in almost any other such contest, so consider enlisting the luck of the Irish to earn an unforgettable cultural experience while supporting an organization that brings cultural enrichment to our community.

All in attendance at “Irish Wave” will receive a collectable commemorative pint glass, which can be used to sample the six beers featured for tasting. Here’s the list chosen “best of the best” by the discriminating selection committee; Samuel Adams “Cold Snap,” a refreshing unfiltered white ale harboring a flavorful kick that signals the onset of Spring; Lost Coast “Tangerine Wheat Ale” with natural citrus flavors; Deschutes “Pine Drops IPA, a crisp light brew inspired by the aromas of a scenic pine forest, Highland “Gaelic Ale” featuring a rich malty body and a complex hop flavor and aroma; Schlafly “Extra Stout,” a bold Irish-style brew that embodies traditional drier versions; and Atwater “Vanilla Java Porter” a relatively dark but smooth and mellow ale. If none of the featured brews tempt your fancy, many other options exist among the broad array of appealing beers and wines included in the extensive selection at Montage.

Of course, the food prepared by Montage proprietors Aaron and Michele Cox will be tasty, the ambience of the cafe will be welcoming, and the crowd will be full of friendly people you’d like to know if you don’t already. And at the end of the evening, you’ll have the opportunity to fill your own growler; beer remaining in the kegs when the party’s over will be available for purchase, with the proceeds benefitting DCCA, so you can leave “Irish Wave” with more than just happy memories.

Tickets for this swell party cost $35; to get yours, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or [email protected] Tickets for “Irish Wave” can also be purchased on-line at www.centerforarts.net and at Montage Cafe; remaining “Off to the Isle” raffle tickets are available by contacting DCCA.

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By Marilyn Delk

Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected] Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.