Fat Tuesday lasted two weeks

MARYLAND SCENE

Around Town

March 09, 2003|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,Special to the Sun

Mardi Gras might have kicked off in New Orleans this past week, and in B-more at AVAM (see story at right) last weekend, but Howard County got the jump on everyone. Folks there have been getting into that party spirit for the past two weeks.

First, the Howard County Library threw its "Sixth Annual Evening in the Stacks" party with a Mardi Gras theme. The library's Christie Lassen says the committee decked out the East Columbia Branch library with green and purple, big Mardi Gras masks, feathers and beads. Some 500 folks attended the Feb. 22 wingding. Some got their palms read, others had their caricatures drawn by one of two artists in house. Then, there was a big parade through the stacks, featuring a drum major, The Last Chance Jazz Band and two giant crawfish puppets.

Christie says the party turned out to be the best ever for the library, raising around $46,000.

A week later, Mardi Gras continued in the Historic Savage Mill, for the annual fund- raising hoopla for the STTAR (Sexual Treatment, Advocacy and Recovery) Center. Mardi Gras masks, beads, balloons and harlequin posters decorated the Mill's Great Room. For those really in the Mardi mood, jester hats, masks and fancy beads could also be had for a few bucks. Guests also got tarot card readings and participated in a raffle to become the King and Queen of Mardi Gras, which meant they got to lead the "parade" around the room, with the band and all the other guests conga-lining it up behind them.

The big prize of the night? The $10,000 raised for STTAR.

Another success for the Baltimore School for the Arts, this year's "Expressions 2003" party was a sellout. Who could resist an evening that begins with your choice of acting, disco dancing, art or music classes, all taught by some of the school's talented high-schoolers? Cer-tainly not 520 of Baltimore's "see-and-be-seen" crowd, including Sharon Nevins, Stewart Rosenberg, Sol Snyder, Carole and Bean Sibel, Howard and Wendy Jachman, Sam Brave, Ellen and Buddy Zamoiski, Clair Zamoiski Segal and hubby Tommy, Will and Mayer Baker, Ellen Halle, Sandra Long, Nancy Cohen, Randy Goodman, Pat and Lesly Sajak, Amy Elias, Phil Cooper, Michael Ross.

There were also raves about the show put on by the students later.

Speaking of raves, how about that $150,000 raised that night for the school? Betcha school director Leslie Shepard is smiling about that one.

Last week's hyped-but-less-than-expected "big snow" caused two Feb. 27 events to be postponed. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fund-raiser "Fight For A Cure" -- dinner and six pro- boxing matches -- has been rescheduled for April 8. And "McHenry@The Market," a casual evening of fun and food benefiting Fort McHenry's Visitor Education Center at Cross Street Market's Nick's Seafood has yet to be rescheduled.

American Visionary Art Museum

The Oz theme for this year's Mardi Gras bash at the American Visionary Art Museum certainly held true. Entering the museum proved to be a "Dorothy-esque" experience. You felt like you weren't in Baltimore anymore. There were flying monkeys, scarecrows, tin men, witches of both East and West, lions, tigers and bears, oh my. Some 1,200 revelers, many in costume, swirled through the sculpture barn and an attached tent.

"I'm a field of poppies," STV architect Ellen Jenkins said, explaining her big straw bonnet wreathed in green tulle with crepe paper and cellophane blossoms springing from it. Another poppy field came in the form of the Grapevine Hair Studio's Jennifer Chodnicki, who was completely covered in silk flowers, including her eyes -- each surrounded by silk petals glued onto her eyelashes.

Baltimore engineer John Strobel came as the yellow brick road in a yellow bathrobe covered with Styrofoam "bricks." He added a nod to the similarly titled pop song with his Elton-John-style rhinestone-rimmed glasses.

Reigning over it all was AVAM founder / director Rebecca Hoff-berger, who was in her party role of Glinda the Good Witch. Naturally.

Also in the throng: Ted Rouse, American Visionary Art Museum board member; Vince Peranio, "The Wire" production designer; Joe Lee, Bel Air attorney; Joe Segreti, Federal Defender's Office investigator; Alvin Schenk, retired interior landscaper; Tuesday Hayes, Simply Imagine owner; Deirdre Osiomwan, Amerigroup registered nurse; Brenda Brown, Morgan State University history professor; Dave Desmarais, Dave's Dry Cleaning owner; Bruce Dorsey, Vespa bartender; Dr. Barry Murphy, Towson dentist; Doug Retzler, Baltimore special-effects artist; Dan Cianchette, Johns Hopkins Bayview Triad Research Building maintenance technician; Bob Awalt, Robert Awalt Builders president; Tom Kiefaber, Senator Theatre owner; Denise Klicos, DK Salon owner; Tracy Corbin, Bank of America personal banker; Helen Dellsheim, Lawrence Adashek attorney, and Saundra Johnson, Johns Hopkins Hospital bone marrow transplant unit acting nurse manager.

The party raised around $65,000 for the American Visionary Art Museum.

If you'd like to have your social event considered for coverage on the Maryland Scene page, please fax the information at least three weeks in advance to 410-675-3451, or call 410-332-6520, or mail it to Party Page at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

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