The boisterous bridge affair that began last year is back.
The long-awaited and unimitated Dance on the Falls Bridge returns to the Schyulkill-side neighborhood on Sept. 8, and will incorporate many of the highlights of 2011’s inaugural dance – along with a few new twists – for an offering that organizers have dubbed “East Falls’ signature event.”
Gina Snyder, executive director of the East Falls Development Corporation, said that planning, which began in July, is running “way ahead of schedule.”
So far, the Epicure Café in East Falls has been selected to cater the event. Returning to the bridge is Dance Philadelphia, who will offer dancing tutorials to the accompaniment of the Heath Allen Band.
But organizers insist that this year’s dance won’t be a rehash of last year – they’re adding some new participating places, a few familiar faces, and a contest.
Couture at Your Door, a fashion retailer and mobile boutique based in Sherman Mills, will be sponsoring a makeover contest for the event.
The victor will receive a head-to-toe makeover in the style of “What Not to Wear,” replete with a new outfit and touch-ups to hair, nails, and makeup.
Tia Ellis, co-owner of Couture at Your Door, said that a Facebook campaign will be launched on Monday to find the right person. Individuals can be nominated – or nominate themselves.
The person with the most “likes” will be the winner, and will receive their prize on the day of the dance.
This year’s charitable beneficiary will be clothes-pin.org, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that donates clothing to those in need. In keeping with the event’s classy theme, Snyder encouraged bringing a “dress-for-success” item.
Honorary co-chairs for the 2012 dance will be State Senator Vincent Hughes and Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the International Blue Cross Foundation.
Transportation and ticket prices
In addition, a special deal has been struck with the Crowne Plaza West Hotel located on City Ave.
For a discounted fee, out of town guests and others not wishing to drive can stash their belongings in their room, and be shuttled to and from the dance.
Noting that last year’s event hosted guests from as far as New Jersey and central Pennsylvania, Snyder said that this new offering is a great opportunity to encourage visits from the far-flung.
Tickets are $40 through Aug. 31, and $50 on the night of the event. It’s an increase from last year, said Snyder, but one that doesn’t fully cover the expenses of the event, which is estimated to cost approximately $40,000.
The difference is picked up by some of the event’s major sponsors, which include the East River Bank, Eastern University, National Penn Bank, Philadelphia University, and the International Blue Cross Foundation.
Ticket sales have begun in earnest, and organizers say that they anticipate as many as 1,000 participants this year. Last year’s dance drew 600 guests, well over the hoped-for 300.
While the turn-out thrilled Snyder, it was the character of the crowd that pleased her most.
“The main thing was how much people liked dancing with a diverse crowd,” she said. “It was surprising and wonderful.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the event’s page or call 215-848-8084.