By Joe Bachman
High spirits and culture was in the air on Saturday night in the culmination of ARTi Gras for “ARTi Party: Around the World in 80 Bites” held at the Wisconsin Rapids Community Theater auditorium and Centralia Center.
Those in attendance were treated to cuisine around the world, representing food from China, Thailand, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Mexico, India, Columbia, France, and Africa. Served in buffet style, the dishes were donated from local businesses around the area, featuring Lemongrass Noodle House, China Palace, Applebee’s, Shaw Lee’s, Polito’s, Rick’s Catering, Domino’s, Olympic II, Tropical Smoothie, Great Expectations, El Ranchito, and dishes from event organizer Cathy Meils.
After dinner guests were entertained by music from the Eclectic String Quintet, which performed notable classic rock songs on string instruments, as well as a dance studio open afterwards for all ages. The winners for the silent auction were announced later in the night which topped off a successful turnout for ARTi Gras week, according to Cathy Meils.
“We had so many people come to one particular event, which tells you that this week covered so many different arts,” said Meils. “There were people that came to the historical presentations, that didn’t go to other events; there were those who went to the comedy show, that didn’t see the opera — and those interested only in the puppetry workshop, even.” said Meils.
This was the biggest ARTi Gras since it’s 2013 inception, and saw everything from puppetry, magicians, comedians, operas, music, history and many aspects of the fine arts. A date has yet to be announced for ARTi Gras 2017.