Steampunk-style Arts Cotillion to benefit Smyrna Opera House

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From left, Jaci and David Hugg and Barbara Bigelow get ready for the Smyrna Opera House Arts Cotillion. (Submitted photo)

SMYRNA – It’s time to don your best Victorian garb and favorite pair of green-lens goggles for the steampunk-themed Arts Cotillion supporting the Smyrna Opera House set for Feb. 13.

The event, now in its 12th year, has a different theme each time around and previous ones have included Gatsby’s Gala, Arabian Nights and Under the Tuscan Sun.

“One of our committee members suggested it and at first many of us didn’t know what it was, but now it seems like something that will be really fun to work with,” said Jaci Hugg, chairwoman of the planning committee.

Steampunk is a science fiction genre that incorporates aspects of the industrialism of the 18th century, fashion style of the Victorian era and modern technology powered by steam engines or other analog means.

Steampunk attire is encouraged but not required.

“We will have some steampunk art on display done by Electra McCloskey,” Ms. Hugg said.

“I think her pieces really embody the theme and one of the highlights is a three-dimensional seven-foot by seven-foot piece that’s really interesting.”

Also fitting the theme will be custom cocktails and shots provided by Painted Stave Distlling in Smyrna.

The night’s cocktail is the “Corpse Reviver No. 2” using gin, lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, Cointreau and absinthe. The evening’s shot is “Dr. Gome’s Vitality Potion” featuring vodka, creme de cacao, creme de menthe and absinthe.

While sipping on specialty beverages guests will also dine on heavy hors d’oeuvres by Magnolia Caterers of Sudlersville, Maryland.

Plenty of items will be up for auction, both silent and live. Items up for grabs include tickets and a parking pass to a Flyers game, a crabbing trip from The Fish Whisperer, jewelry from Sayers Jewelers in Smyrna, a day of sailing and a Canada goose hunt for two.

Popular local band Glass Onion will take the stage after the live auction to entertain opera house supporters with live rock ‘n’ roll dance music.

Pulling together such a large annual event takes plenty of work and every year a committee meets right after the cotillion to start planning for the next.

“We have a wrap-up meeting following each year’s event and it’s then we start planning for the next year,” Ms. Hugg said.

“We meet about once a month until January when we start meeting every week to work out all the last-minute details.”

All proceeds from the event go to the opera house, which originally opened in 1870 as Old Town Hall where it served as its namesake, a police station, firehouse, library and theater.

A devastating fire nearly destroyed the building in 1948 but it was restored to its former glory in early 2003 after a $3.6 million capital campaign.

“I feel the opera house is an important part of our community and people need to support the opera house to enhance the arts and cultural activities,” Ms. Hugg said.

“We offer a variety of programs from art shows, plays and concerts.”

The cotillion is from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Smyrna Opera House at 7 W. South St.

Tickets are $110 each and are available at or at the box office Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you choose not to dress in the steampunk theme, the dress code is black-tie optional.

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