Go bananas, swing dance al fresco in Latrobe with Yellow Tie Gala
Call it lemon, canary, sunset or honey, just make sure your wardrobe has some hues of the sunniest shade for the seventh annual Yellow Tie Gala.
Slide on your dancing shoes and bring your sweet tooth as the Latrobe Art Center toasts the Great American Banana Split Celebration in style with the 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23 celebration.
Downtown Latrobe’s Ligonier Street will transform into an open air party scene, with al fresco noshing followed by dancing to the accompaniment of Neon Swing X-perience. Enjoy hot and cold appetizers from Ricolita’s Cafe and quench your thirst with wine, beer or a signature Banana Split cocktail from the open bar.
“Our assistant director, Joseph Bellack, creates our signature cocktail. He takes it very seriously,” says Lauren Buches, art center executive director. The drink remains a mystery, but there will likely be some tasting sessions soon to determine a winner, she says, laughing.
“Swing lessons are the big thing this year. We have a swing band every year, and some people do dance,” Buches says.
An attendee suggested lessons, and Buches, who has done swing dancing in Pittsburgh, says instructions are typical for “newbies.”
For an extra $8 per person, gala attendees can learn some swing dance moves from TDI Ballroom Dance instructors from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. Partners are encouraged, but not necessary. As with square dancing, partners switch off and on, sit out a number or two, and dancers learn from and get to know each other, Buches says.
Latrobe Dairy Queen will sponsor a Banana Split Bar, satisfying everyone’s sweet tooth and paying homage to Latrobe’s legacy.
Latrobe holds the distinction — with a state historical marker to prove it — of being the birthplace of the triple-dip, three-flavor ice cream dessert invented in 1904 by David Strickler, who worked in the former Tassel’s Pharmacy in Latrobe. He later studied at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, bought the drugstore and renamed it Strickler’s Pharmacy.
Guests will have the opportunity to be served banana splits from behind Strickler’s Pharmacy’s original counter.
As for that wardrobe suggestion, Buches says she has seen attendees get creative with the color.
“I’m wearing a black dress with yellow accessories and yellow shoes. Some people go all out, some guys wear a yellow tie or hat band,” she says.
Gala tickets are $60, and reservations are required by Aug. 17.
All proceeds benefit Latrobe Art Center programs.
Details: 724-537-7011 or LatrobeArtCenter.org
Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .