Corks and Forks

The 18th annual Corks and Forks fundraiser for the Decatur Area Arts Council is Thursday, April 19, at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel.

DECATUR — As the old saying goes, “Eat, drink and be merry.”

The community is invited to do just that at Corks and Forks, the 18th annual fundraiser for the Decatur Area Arts Council. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel. Tickets are $50 in advance or $55 at the door. VIP tickets are $125 and include French cuisine and wine pairings at 5 p.m.

“It’s what keeps the art center going,” said Jerry Johnson, arts council executive director, who noted the council receives no tax support and relies almost exclusively on local support.

Those hungry to help will have many varieties of food and wine available for sampling, the main attraction of the event. “The food and wine distributors are so knowledgeable and able to answering questions about pairing,” organizer Jayson Albright said.

Some new Corks and Forks participants will be the Red Barn, Simply Rooted and the Gin Mill. Some of the popular returnees are Papa Murphy's, the Beach House, Fuji Japanese Steakhouse and University Dogs. “There’s a little bit of everything for everybody,” Albright said.

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A silent auction will be part of the evening and include memorabilia, overnight hotel stays, artwork, baseball tickets and a painting service by Hartwig & Callarman Painting Co., which includes material and labor for a small room.

Guests are also able to enter raffles, and a new one this year will be the Porta Party, in which a Yeti cooler is filled with games and adult beverages. “When you win this raffle you will be set for a long time,” Albright said of the prize.

A few businesses will offer additional entertainment, and the Beach House will have an appetizer presentation. Heroic Age Studios will provide a virtual reality game for the evening. “We will even have a competition,” Johnson said.

Seating has been added, Albright said, so “You can eat, chat and get right back out there.”

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"Together Decatur" Columnist and Food and Drink Reporter

“Together Decatur” columnist and food and drink reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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