Shake mud off your boots and welcome spring at Saturday's Mud Ball

by Dan McClelland
Saturday evening's the time to kick the mud off your mudders and come inside the train station  to  party at Tupper Arts' first Mud Ball.  The goal of the benefit is to generate money to pay the performers in the group's Friday evening Summer Sunset Series at the new Lions band shell announced this week (see separate story this week).
The fundraising event to help bring more arts and entertainment to Tip Top Town marks the official start of spring in the North Country.
The dress that evening will be “Tupper Lake formal”-  pressed wool pants, cleanest plaid shirt and sturdiest, but practical  footwear.  Fox hats are optional. One of the organizers, Tall Paul Chartier, promises to wear his!
Come by yourself or with  your beau or favorite gal.
The Mud Ball has been mirrored after the Snowball, which raised thousands of dollars each year for about six years  in support of the ARISE volunteer operation of Big Tupper in recent years.  
“Despite the abundance of mud and even snow outside right now in this far too long winter, inside the train station there'll be spring on Saturday night,” explains an enthusiastic Tupper Arts organizer Louise McNally this week.
To help the fledgling group raise money for culture and arts endeavors, beginning this summer, the musical trio of Ben McClelland, Jay Martin and Ian Roantree have donated their time and talent to perform popular music  from the 1960s and  1970s that evening.  The musicians do a great job with the music of the Beatles, Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan  and other signature artists of that era.  Dancing is encouraged.
The kitchen elves at David Tomberlin's Well Dressed Food  started working today on preparations for the   platefuls of delicious hors d'oeuvres that will be served to the Mud Ball guests.  Several of the popular eatery's wholesale suppliers have made big donations of products to help with the event's fundraising.
A number of high school students have volunteered to serve the goodies from trays.
The price of the admission ticket (see advertisement this week for details) will include the entertainment, the food served and a complimentary glass of wine or craft beer.  Saturday's guests will also qualify for a host of valuable door prizes donated by local merchants and can also try their luck at winning the pot from which is expected to be a robust 50-50 sale.
The event will feature some of the best craft beer in the North Country- and perhaps the state- from stations featuring the products of Raquette River Brewing and Big Tupper Brewing, which are both donating generously to the event.
A variety of delicious wines will come from the shelves of Linda and Neal Pickering's Boulevard Wine and Spirits and from the vineyard of Bill Merritt's Merritt Estate Winery  in Forestport, N.Y.  Both companies and their owners are making substantial donations to the event to boost arts endeavors here for the enrichment of the local population and its visitors.
Tickets have been on sale all month from at a variety of places around town including Larkin's Deli, Well Dressed Food, Tupper Lake Supply, Tupper Lake Free Press, Boulevard Wine and Spirits, the village office, Cabin Fever Floral and Gifts and Jessica's Cuts and Colors and from individuals Joni Stuart, Lynn Quinn, Liz Cordes, Louise McNally, Shannon Bradley, Donna Sloan, Katie Stuart at the ROOST office and Donna Donnelly.  Those places and people will have tickets available through Saturday and tickets will also be available at the door of the train station that evening, so there's no reason not to go.
In order for ticket purchases to be tax deductible, checks should be made out to ARISE.
Tickets can also be purchased online at tupperarts.com and hitting the “donate” button.
The Adirondack Foundation, and its benevolent arm, Adirondack Gives...is also working with Tupper Arts these days to direct funds into entertaining and meaningful events here in coming months.