The City of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia are hosting a gala that will give area residents a chance to celebrate Charlottesville. Kool & The Gang will headline the “Celebrate! 250 Gala” at the John Paul Jones Arena Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, priced from $10 to $30, will go on sale Wednesday. Charlottesville Mayor Satyendra Huja announced the event on Aug. 31. Sponsors include U.Va. and the City of Charlottesville.
“As you know, for many months citizens and city staff have been planning a yearlong celebration for our 250th anniversary of our founding in 1762,” Huja said. “Many great community events have already taken place, from street festivals to exhibits.” He said the gala, part of a weekend-long series of events, will include local performers, highlighting talent and diversity in the community.
Ida Lee Wootten, director of U.Va.’s Office of Community Relations, said the University has partnered with the city in several ways to mark the 250th anniversary. The Heritage Theatre Festival presented the popular historical musical “1776” this summer. The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library has provided historical photographs that are being used throughout the celebration. In addition, the library has an exhibit, on view through Jan. 5, that displays a broad range of artifacts, – everything from the oldest known city map to a section of the rope used to hang a murderous mayor. The items, which evoke major events in the city, include a Bible used in the coronation of Queen Charlotte, the city’s namesake. The Charlottesville 250th Anniversary Exhibit, which is co-sponsored by the Special Collections Library and Community Relations Office, is free and open to the public. “We are delighted that the University of Virginia can help support the communitywide celebration by hosting the gala at the John Paul Jones Arena,” Wootten said. “We hope that area residents will enjoy celebrating together Charlottesville’s distinctive history and cultural vibrancy.”
Kool & The Gang’s sound is found at the intersection of jazz, rhythm and blues, funk and pop. Their music has been created by the same core of players for more than 30 years. They performed on the National Mall for this year’s “A Capitol Fourth” celebration. Tickets for a special community pre-concert reception honoring dignitaries and sponsors of the celebration will also be available. Tickets can be purchased at the John Paul Jones Arena website or through Ticketmaster.
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