Friday, 07 June 2019 17:34

Tickets officially on sale for 2019 Dancing With The Stars

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Jason and Jessi Graham, a father-daughter team, were the winners of the Judges' Award of last year's Dancing with the Stars. Tickets for this year's event went on sale June 1. Jason and Jessi Graham, a father-daughter team, were the winners of the Judges' Award of last year's Dancing with the Stars. Tickets for this year's event went on sale June 1. Contributed photo

HAMLET — Although the circus is an event that seems to be fading into history, one night in September will help bring back the nostalgia of 1920s Coney Island.

On Sept. 14, Mabry's Drug and Home Care will present the Taste of the Sandhills Showcasing Dancing With The Stars fundraiser at Cole Auditorium. Now in its fourth year, the event benefits Richmond County Hospice, and tickets officially went on sale Saturday, June 1.

Tickets are going quick according to Hospice CEO Kristina Leyden. She said that out of a possible 521 available tickets, 321 of those have been grabbed on Eventbrite.com.

"That's the sellout max," Leyden said of the 521 number. "Most of them are truly sold, but what it was is our event sponsors and table sponsors are sold. Each dancer got 13 tickets to sell, as well. Most of those are sold or are being sold."

With only 200 tickets left for purchase, Leyden said those are available up until the day of the event or when they sell out, whichever comes first.

As for the big top theme, Leyden said, "We just wanted something bright and eccentric. We wanted the 1920s because back then people wore suits and dresses to the circus so we wanted that formal feel in a very playful environment."

As of Thursday, she added, there are 12 couples already signed up to dance. 

"We're so excited because they all appear to be so motivated and so excited about this year's event," Leyden said. "If anybody is interested in dancing, they should call us. If there is a possibility, we'll use them. If not, we're already working for next year."

Leyden isn't kidding when talking about the preparation for Dancing With The Stars being a year-round endeavor, and although this year's event will play out similarly to years past, there are a few curve balls. Unfortunately, Leyden wouldn't disclose what those are yet.

"This year we're doing something different," she said. "We're on the stage again, we're doing another opening number with the winners from last year, but we're also doing something a little bit different. You've gotta come to find out. This year the stage will look very much like a circus tent."

Chief Scenic Designer Nic Wilkes will once again be in charge of all the decorations and everything seen on stage.

"The word on the street is people come to not only taste all the restaurants and see all the dancers but also to see what Nic's set design will be," Leyden said. You're definitely gonna be transported to a 1920s Coney Island circus."

Also as of Thursday, there are 15 definite restaurants ready to participate in the Taste of the Sandhills portion of the evening, but Leyden said they're shooting for a larger number of 25.

She said Hospice will release the names of the dancers and restaurants participating weekly on its Facebook for people to follow.

Four dancing teams have already been announced: Blake Altman and Courtney Odom; Cleve Baxley and Sabrina McDonald; Charity Davis and Nikki Fletcher; and Meto and Karen Allen.

As for ticket prices, premier tickets this year will run $60 and will not only put one just behind table sponsors but will allow holders to come in 30 minutes earlier at 5:30 p.m. Regular tickets are $50, and discounted ones will be $40 with the difference being seat placement and closeness to the Cole Auditorium stage.

Nine of the 15 table sponsors have also been locked up: Kids Konstruction Daycare, Sandhills Alternative Academy, Hayden Construction, Tri-Cook Electric, Dr. Mary Catherine Moree, the Warnock family, Enterprise Fleet Management and two tables for Tri City.

Another different aspect of this year's event will be local entertainment performing during the intermissions on stage for people to enjoy, Leyden said.

Just like last year, the Richmond Observer will be live-streaming the event which ticket holders can watch in the atrium of the Cole throughout the evening.

For more information on dancing in the Dancing With The Stars portion, being part of the Taste of the Sandhills, or buying tickets, those interested can call Richmond County Hospice at 910-997-4464.