PEEKSKILL, N.Y. The Paramount Center for the Arts will once again be holding its annual Red Carpet Gala in Peekskill this fall and this year organizers are looking to get the whole downtown involved.
Paramount director Lisa Reiss appeared before the Peekskill Common Council Monday night with Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce executive director Deb Milone to discuss this year's event, which features the platinum-selling rock group Foreigner.
"As of this afternoon we have sold over 600 tickets," Reiss told the council.
Reiss and Milone are hoping to close down N. Division Street on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 15 for the concert and the pre and post-show receptions at 12 Grapes. Since the venue is anticipating about 1,000 guests for the show, there will be many people looking to grab a bite to eat who will not be attending the 12 Grapes event, they explained.
"There are only 80 or 90 people involved with that event," said Reiss, "so we thought a great idea would be to close (North) Division Street down and invite our restaurant neighbors to have music and late night going on, and if we're up to 600 with a month to go there's no doubt in my mind it will be 900 by the time we get to the gala."
Each of the restaurants involved will provide insurance and contribute to the event fee.
Council member Marybeth McGowan said there had been instances when insurance forms had not been submitted until after road closings had taken place, and said that practice could not be tolerated.
"I will no longer vote to close a street unless we have the insurance beforehand," McGowan said.
Milone said she would make sure all establishments involved submitted their insurance paperwork on time.
Reiss and Milone wanted a waiver for the $250 event fee, but council members felt they had to enforce the policy.
"It's almost impossible to waive the fee," said deputy mayor Drew Claxton. "Because all not-for-profits wants to waive the fee."
The Paramount has just added several high profile shows, including Amos Lee, Tower of Power and Average White Band and Blood, Sweat and Tears. Reiss said that attendance at Paramount shows is up sharply, mostly due to the diverse high-quality acts that are now being booked.
"For a long time, people weren't taking the Paramount seriously," she said.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Red Carpet Gala event, and more information can be found on the Paramount website .
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