‘Great Gatsby’ Gala to swing into Packard Proving Grounds

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 17, 2016

 A large chandelier created by Dan Rose for a past wedding with a “Great Gatsby” theme will be the focal point at the Packard Proving Grounds’ “Great Gatsby” Gala at the historic site’s repair garage Aug. 27.

A large chandelier created by Dan Rose for a past wedding with a “Great Gatsby” theme will be the focal point at the Packard Proving Grounds’ “Great Gatsby” Gala at the historic site’s repair garage Aug. 27.

Photo provided by Mary Anne Demo

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Volunteers with the Packard Proving Grounds are planning an evening filled with 1920s glitz, glam, dinner, drinks and dancing for a good cause.

The “Great Gatsby”-themed gala will take place 6-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Packard Proving Grounds, located at 49965 Van Dyke Ave., between 21 Mile and 22 Mile roads.

Mary Anne Demo, event coordinator for the Packard Proving Grounds, said the opportunity to throw an in-house bash and fundraiser arose when a wedding scheduled for Aug. 27 was canceled.

“We are so booked (with weddings and other events). We were so excited when we had a Saturday night available,” Demo said. “We’ve been trying to put (an electronic sign) in front, and we’ve raised over half the money. We want to get it installed before the weather gets cold.”

Tickets for the event cost $50 each. A table seating eight costs $350. The price includes dinner, drinks and dancing. The event is only for guests who are 21 years of age and older. Black tie attire or 1920s-style garb is required.

Guests will experience a cocktail hour with a bartender slinging four signature drinks from the 1920s. There will be a live band playing music from the era, a DJ spinning more modern tunes at the end of the evening, a silent auction, a photo booth and Packard vehicles on display.

Funds raised from the gala also will go toward the restoration of the historic site and its buildings. The recent installations of heating and cooling, as well as public restrooms, have made the location a popular destination for weddings and events.

Jeannine Morris, owner of A Charming Affair Wedding and Event Planning and assistant event coordinator at the Packard Proving Grounds, is chairing the event. She said to expect a lot of black and gold, feathers, and other décor as seen in the movie version of “The Great Gatsby.”

An elaborate chandelier donated by a local prop maker, she said, will be the main focal point at the event.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Morris said. “It’s not just about the Packards. It’s also the history, and anybody can appreciate that.”

For more information about the event, call (586) 943-5785 or visit www.packardevents.org. To purchase tickets, visit www.ppg-greatgatsbygala.eventbrite.com. For more information about the Packard Proving Grounds, call (586) 739-4800 or visit www.packardmotorfdn.org.

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