The Berthoud Historical Society Hosts a Garden Party

By May Soricelli
The Surveyor

McCarty-Fickel-HouseThis summer, the Berthoud Historical Society has added two events aimed at creating interactive, fun experiences with the town’s two museums and pulling Berthoud’s residents into the past to experience the town’s history in a new way. The Historical Society board president Mark French said that the event is part of a new vision for the Historical Society to attract more people to attend its events.

“We have worked hard to improve our vision, to make use of the facilities we work hard to maintain, by making us more active in the community; by keeping things fresh and relevant,” said French.

According to Little Thompson Pioneer Museum director Karen Lloyd-D’Onofrio said that the Berthoud Historical Society’s board of directors is excited to be reaching out and making new connections with Berthoud’s diverse population through such events as the Garden Party & Wine Tasting and other collaborations including live performances, such as the recent Wildfire Theater Company’s production of “On Golden Pond”.

“This new collaboration, which will see the staging of plays in the house and on the grounds, opens the McCarty-Fickel Home museum to a whole new group of visitors,” said museum director Karen Lloyd-D’Onofrio. “People who come to the Garden Party or who attend the theater productions will be exposed to a historic home in an entirely different way – more experiential and more appealing than by simply taking a guided tour of the home.

“Of course, we will still be offering the more familiar and popular programming that has traditionally taken place in historical homes,” Lloyd-D’Onofrio said. “But we see the McCarty Fickel Home Museum as a wonderful space for all to enjoy and experience our town’s history.”

The new vision included ideas of a concert series at both the McCarty-Fickle House and the new Pioneer Courtyard at The Little Thompson Pioneer museum on Mountain Ave.

The first of French’s ideas blossomed into a fun-filled Garden Party and Wine Tasting event on the grounds of the McCarty-Fickle house on Saturday, July 18 from 2-4 p.m.

“As a spin-off of the concert series idea, I thought we could include a little wine tasting, a little ensemble, and hors d’oeuvre,” said events coordinator Diane Levy.

Blue Mountain Vineyards of Berthoud will showcase six of its wines, both reds and whites, for tasting. Additional wine will also be available and sold by the glass. Guests will experience a formal wine tasting including a guided tasting “tour” by local business owner Michael Georges who will himself prepare four of the hors d’oeuvre pairings.

“Michael has taken this idea and ran with it,” said Levy. “He will be instrumental in talking people through the tasting.”

The complex menu consists of these white wines: a Riesling paired with goat cheese and Thai chicken, a Pinot Grigio paired with Manchego and Palisade semi-frozen peach slice, and a Chardonnay paired with brie and deviled ham with caper garnish. The featured red wines include a Pinot Noir paired with cheddar and roasted asparagus, a Sangiovese paired with parmesan Reggiano and tortellini with pesto, and a Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Raclette and smoked brisket. Each table will also have a platter of cheeses, crackers, and fruits. As a memento for the evening the Historical Society will be giving each guest a complimentary wine glass to take home.

The afternoon concert will be a string serenade on the lawn backed by the grape arbor, where those in attendance can sit and enjoy a performance by a pair of local cellist: Berthoud High School student Sonya Schuppan and her aunt and co-cellist Larysa Beyer.

Part of the casual entertainment of the afternoon, on the sunny lawn of the McCarty Fickle home, will be the opportunity to play classic yard games such as croquet or bocce ball. These old-fashioned pastimes are anticipated to create the ideal setting for mingling with neighbors and friends.

In addition to local wine, gourmet hors d’oeuvre, live string music, and a variety of classic yard games for entertainment, the highlight of this “high-brow” occasion will be the dress of those in attendance. Gatsby-style summer dresses and big hats, pearls, gloves, bow ties, vests and hats will be the themed attire at this social occasion.

“We hope their time is so delightful that through this event they will learn about the Historical Society and support us with a membership,” said Levy.

Fundraising events such as these allow the Historical Society to engage the community with Berthoud museums in a fresh interactive way while bringing in necessary funds to keep the vital operations of the museums sustained. All proceeds will go toward staffing and maintenance for both museums.

Limited tickets are available for presale only. The cost is $30 per person and can be reserved by contacting the museum at 970-532-2147.