The shoulders were cold, the music was hot and the pork tenderloin was juicy at Mount Airy Museum of Regional History’s first “Night for the Museum Masquerade Ball” on Friday evening.
It turns out that an evening of masked fun and frolic does not come without challenges. Museum executive director Matt Edwards mostly carried his Darth Vader mask as it made access to his cocktail impossible.
Mike Brannock and Allison Brannock shed their masks before dinner was served. “My face is starting to sweat,” said Mr. Brannock as he removed his mask, “and this muscle on the back of my head is starting to twitch. I should have gotten one on a stick.”
Edwards, with Darth Vader’s head tucked under his arm, proclaimed himself to be “well pleased” with the results of the evening, 125 event tickets were sold and 264 drawdown tickets at the beginning of the evening with more to come.
But most importantly, he was pleased with the 32 event sponsors underwriting the evening.
“For an event like this to be successful, you really need sponsors. And we have them.”
Edwards added that the biggest challenge is that everybody waits until the last minute. Edwards credits the museum staff, or as he calls them, “museum family,” most of whom have been at it for between seven and 20 years, and the museum’s board, for pulling it off.
“This is mostly a board-driven activity,” he said.
Auction chairman Hank Spires said this year’s auction was on par with last year. Spires said that the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, along with Surry Arts Council and the Andy Griffith Museum provide a level of culture and history unusual for a town of Mount Airy’s size.
Spires says a lot of people aren’t aware of what exists here. He said, “I was that way before joining the board” and admits he had not visited the museum before joining its board. “But that was 12 years ago,” he added.
The band “Continental Divide,” whose lead singer is 2016 Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame inductee Gene Pharr, kept guests dancing with a mix of a lot of beach music and soul standards with splashes of recent music, swing and jazz.
While some museum patrons were relishing their evening of masked mystery and others were struggling with the mechanics of the concept, others simply didn’t bother with masks at all.
But one thing most of the museum ladies agreed on, the color of the evening was black. And a surprising number adopted the “cold shoulder” look in which a dress with a strap and a sleeve exposes the shoulder between the two. The look goes back to Coco Chanel in the ’30s, was popularized by Donna Karan in the ’90s, and if Mount Airy ladies have anything to say about it, is about to undergo a resurgence at any moment.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.