Get ready to groove


At .01 miles away, the Thrasher Opera House is decidedly closer way to get one’s art fix. Pictured are, from left, Dennis Duijsters, Helcia Bierman, Maria Dietrich, Krista Norton, Mary Allen and Tim Lyke. Ariana Hones photo

by Ariana Hones

In place of an open New York field will be the historic Thrasher Opera House.

Filled with a similar band of lovers of art from that of Woodstock nearly 50 years ago.

The community of Green Lake and the surroundings areas will have a chance to relive this momentous festival Saturday, Sept. 22 through Thrasher Opera House’s annual fund-raising event.

This year in Woodstock theme: Peace, Love & Party for the Arts.

“Find your old Birkenstocks and dig that tie-die out of the closet,” Thrasher Opera House Development Director Rachael Avery said. “This party is lots and lots of fun. We put a lot of thought into what guests’ experience will be like.”

So what can party attendees expect?

Live music, multiple dishes from local eateries to keep revelers nourished, a live and silent auction, as well as a few surprises that Avery would only allude to.

“People will leave with huge smiles on their faces,” she said.

With a chance to win jewelry from Diedrich’s and Gysbers, a VIP opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes as Thrasher preps for its weekly shows, as well as a multitude of other action items, there is something for each guest to enjoy while they support a historic institution.

“The Thrasher was built in 1910,” Avery said. “Year after year we have supported the arts in a historic venue—not a lot of towns in Wisconsin can say that.”

Funds raised at the event go towards keeping the arts tradition alive in Green Lake.

One specific live auction item also will raise funds specifically for the Missoula Children’s Theater program at the Thrasher Opera House.

“What people might not realize is that the Green Lake Thrasher is different than other places that do Missoula Children’s Theater because at the Thrasher we don’t charge people to participate,” Avery said. “Where other communities may ask participants to cover the fee that Missoula charges to put on the productions. Thrasher absorbs that cost. We want to make art and theater as accessible as possible to every kid in our community.”

The Thrasher Opera House offers two Missoula productions each year: one in January and the other in June.

The cost to cover both events and allow local youth to take the stage in their own production is $10,000.

Tickets for “Peace, Love & Party for the Arts” will be on sale until the day of the gala. Cost is $70.

Taking place inside Thrasher Opera House, seating is limited, so guests are encouraged to buy tickets early.

Party-goers also may purchase full tables for 10 guests for $600.

“It is a great way to bring in your friends and introduce them to the local art scene,” Avery said. “The Thrasher is for everyone and the arts are for everyone. They are fundamental to what makes us human.”

Thrasher Opera House’s annual fund-raiser celebration lifts up the collectivity of humanity that the arts inspire.

“Art happens all the time around us and people can take it for granted,” Avery said. “We are lucky to have a community that is focused on sustaining it.”

And although Jimi Hendrix won’t be making an appearance at this Woodstock, it may still prove to be just as legendary.

At least for local lore.

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