HMA's 75th birthday celebration was WOW!!

Even if you weren’t at that fabulous Light Up the Night Gala sponsored by Wesley Hall and Mr. & Mrs. Leroy & Lynn Lail, you will for sure have heard about its fabulousness by now. In fact, if you weren’t there, you’ve been kicking yourself for not having been a part of that happily boisterous celebration!

In addition to your friends and every other important Hickory person you ever knew, you would have been welcomed by ballerinas from the Hickory Ballet & Performing Arts along with floral art designed by Thistle Dew Nicely, A Southern Bloom, Event Flowers by Sharon, Hickory Florist, Nancy Zagaroli, and Joann Wilfong.

And look at the crowds everywhere!! They were at one point serenaded by (left to right) Erin Hooks, Mary Johnson and Linda DiCianni’s version of The Andrews Sister's "Shoo Shoo Baby."

Complimentary tasting stations in the galleries hosted by local restaurants Café Gouda, Boca, Fourk, Café Rule, and Lake Hickory Country Club, along with two cash bars, provided ample refreshments. And who cared if there were lines here and there: another occasion to socialize.

In the interest of quality control (OK, in the interest of fun), the HMA staff tested out the photo station. Lots of other partiers also enjoyed getting souvenir photos of themselves in their glittery finery. (Copies were texted or emailed to the pictured people immediately.)

The ceremonial trumpeter sounds! Announcing a ticket stub drawing for a pottery piece from Hailey Lail, a painting from Steve Brooks, and a wood sculpture from Joël Urruty. We have a thrilled winner! Or, rather, three winners. The presenters were HMA Board co-Presidents Katie Pritchard and Zach Taylor along with HMA Associate Director Clarissa Starnes.

There was birthday cake for HMA, and Jon Carfagno, HMA’s Executive Director, raised a champagne toast to the successful progress of HMA’s Annual Campaign. Then the dancing kicked into high gear, with the music provided by legendary DJ Joe Bunn.

So, obviously, the event’s prime organizer (Clarissa Starnes), the event’s planning committee (Zack and Beth Taylor, Kit and Danielle Cannon, Dave and Nancy Zagaroli, and Charlie and Tish Zagaroli) and the HMA staff put together a phenomenal evening!

Photos on this page are by HMA staff, the photo station, and a couple of generous party guests.

Lots more details here, including bigger pictures and several videos of the dancing.

You can also see and read about preparing for the Gala, that is, setting up the museum spaces for the many amazing parts of Saturday’s event.


This post is # 28 of the 75 stories to celebrate HMA's 75 years.

Post by Karin Borei, HMA Project Coordinator, writer and editor as needed, and HMA blogger since our blog's inception in March 2015.