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Museum gala to be throwback to Prohibition era

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Dust off your fedoras and flapper dresses and brush up your Al Capone impression, the Fort Frances Museum is about to become the town's hottest juice joint.

The Friends of the Museum are well into planning their eighth-annual gala, and Friends' president Robert Schulz said that this year's theme ties into colourful periods of Canadian and American history.

“Our theme this year is Prohibition,” Schulz said.

“We're going to turn the museum into a speakeasy for one night only, and we'll have an assortment of wines and beers.”

The gala is set to run next Thursday (Nov. 7) from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. and Schulz said there will be plenty on offer for those who purchase a ticket to help support the museum.

“We have music and a live auction, just a general fellowship and get-together, and the big thing of it is, it is a fundraiser,” he said.

“What we're raising the funds for is, we have a series of workshops that take place at the museum, and what we're hoping to do is raise enough money that we can fund those workshops so that people who sign up for the workshops only pay a minimal fee, and the rest is covered by the Friends of the Museum.”

In the past, funds from the museum's gala have gone towards such things as the restoration of the Owandem tugboat and another of the group's popular events.

“In the spring, we have an event called Snoasis, and we don't charge anything for that,” Schulz explained.

“It's games for the kids as well as other events that are outside at the market square, and hot dogs, hot chocolate, whatever. It's always attended very well and we don't charge for that, any cost incurred by that is covered by this fundraising event called the gala.”

In addition to the libations on offer at the event, Schulz also noted that the Flint House would be on hand to provide hors d'oeuvres for the evening.

As the gala is a yearly event, care is taken by the Friends of the Museum to ensure that there are as few time conflicts with other events as possible.

“The last couple of years we had, we called it 'Novemberfest,'” Schulz said.

“Which is a take on Oktoberfest. We stuck with a date in very early November because of the fact that we didn't want it on Halloween or Halloween eve, and there's generally some other events taking place that last week of October, so we always had it in the early part of November.”

The theme also ties in nicely with the museum's new exhibition, which focuses on Prohibition and some of the illicit activities that occurred during that time.

Schulz encouraged the public to snap up a ticket before they're gone.

“The cost for attending is quite minimal, it's only $30 a person,” Schulz said.

“And if you come late and get a ticket at the door it's $35, so it's a pretty cheap evening because you don't pay for your food or alcohol. You go to the bar, you can get rid of $30 pretty darn quick.”

Tickets to the gala are on sale now and can be purchased from the Fort Frances Public Library, From the Grind Up or at the museum.

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