A summer night, fine food and drink, good company and fantastic auction prizes – add them all together and you have one unforgettable evening at Niagara History Center’s Discovery Gala Tent Fest and Auction, Saturday, August 20, from 6-9 p.m.
Our gathering under a huge dinner tent and within sight of the Erie Canal in historic Downtown Lockport promises to be better than ever, so make plans to join us for this party beneath the stars. This year we’ve expanded our food and auction items and added new dinnertime entertainment.
The evening kicks off with a visit from artist “Raphael Beck,” portrayed by Charlie Begley of the History Center’s Step Back in Time Players. Lockport’s Beck, a popular artist and art instructor, created the famed mural “The Opening of the Erie Canal, October 6, 1825,” now gracing the first floor of the Discovery Center.
Many of you know Begley as a favorite long-time Latin teacher at Lockport High School, and his Beck character and others are big hits with visitors to History Center re-enactor tours of our local cemeteries. Begley brings Beck to life with vitality and humor, and you’ll thoroughly enjoy his performance.
Beverages and food will be offered by our area’s best. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. you’ll enjoy light entrée dinner fare catered by Lockport’s renowned Shamus Restaurant. For their first Gala, New York Beer Project will provide a variety of craft beer. Flight of Five Winery will provide wine.
Other food is provided as follows: fruit, Niagara Produce; cheese, Yancey’s Fancy; and ice cream, Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream. Desserts will be presented by Hall’s Apple Farm and Sweet Source Bakers. Fresh flowers provided by Gould’s Flowers will add the final touch for beautiful outdoor summer dining.
The Heenan Brothers will perform as this year’s musical entertainment, presenting folk-rock and Canal-spirited music.
The live auction, under the direction of our own “celebrity” auctioneer, Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour, will begin at 7:30 p.m. The Sheriff’s style and humor, plus his exceptional skill as an auctioneer, always please his audience. He entertains while capably presenting and auctioning the evening’s fine items and packages to the highest bidder. Watching him is a much fun as seeing who gets that sought-after auction prize.
Over the years the Gala tent celebration has become known for its high-quality auction prizes. This year’s event offers an amazing array in both the Live and Silent auctions, including the work of local artists and spectacular overnight stays in the finest hotels Buffalo-Niagara has to offer. We will also feature dining packages; golf and other sport packages; quality decorative items, including a handmade quilt from award-winning local quilter Stephanie Drehs; and baskets of choice wine and liqueurs. Other packages include memberships and admissions to local cultural institutions, Niagara River cruises and more.
The Niagara History Center is now in its 95th year of preserving and protecting the history of Niagara County and the Erie Canal. Proceeds raised at the Discovery Gala and Auction will help develop and expand the History Center’s educational programs for adults and children, offered year-round.
During the hours of the Gala event, our guests are welcome to explore the exhibits of art and artifacts in the Penney Gallery, located on the second floor of the Discovery Center. The Penney Gallery gathers inspiration and artifacts from the life of local philanthropist and collector Charles Rand Penney.
Tickets for the Discovery Gala and Auction event are $50. You’ll have even more fun if you bring a group – consider buying a table for eight at $350. For tickets and information, please call the Niagara History Center, (716) 434-7433, or Erie Canal Discovery Center, (716) 439-0431.