By James Grob, firstname.lastname@example.org
Was it the maid of honor? The bride or groom? One of the ushers?
Maybe it was the flower girl.
It’s a mystery that will need to be solved on Saturday, Feb. 16, when this year’s Charles City Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Auction is once again set as a murder mystery dinner, entitled “Til Death Do Us Part.”
“We’re really excited to see people wearing ridiculous wedding attire,” said Charles City Community Development Event Coordinator Emily Garden.
The game is promoted as having “a raging bridezilla and groaning groom, and it may be happily never after in this nuptial nightmare.”
The interactive dinner theatre will be at the Floyd County Youth Enrichment Center. Cocktail hour starts at 5 p.m., dinner starts at 6 p.m., and the entertainment starts shortly after that.
“The actors have really perfected this art,” Garden said. “They come in and have this fabulous theme set out. They interact with you before the meal, and they get to know the people in the room. Then they will include you during the murder mystery.”
The Murder Mystery Theatre Co. from Minneapolis is a troupe of four actors who come down and put on a show, Garden explained.
“It’s very different from any entertainment you’re going to find locally, which is why we love bringing them back.” she said. “You might be one of the characters, and the crowd decides how the night goes.”
This is the third straight year the company has come for the event. Two years ago it was a masquerade ball theme, and last year was a 1980s theme.
“The premise of the event is a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce, so we can keep doing the work that we do here,” Garden said.
Nearly 250 tickets were sold to last year’s event — entitled “Totally 80s, Totally Murder” — when attendees were encouraged to dress in their best ’80s attire, with big hair.
This year guests are encouraged to attend in wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos and any especially ridiculous wedding attire they happen to find.
“This year I will be rocking either a bridesmaid’s dress or a wedding gown — I haven’t decided,” Garden said. “This is the chance for everyone to bring a bridesmaid’s dress out of the closet — or a cummerbund.”
The meal will be catered by Dave’s restaurant and will include a choice of smothered chicken or a bacon-wrapped pork filet.
“They’re delicious — I promise — I already tested them,” Garden said. “They blew my socks off, so I am really excited just to go back and eat that again.”
Items will be up for the highest bid on the silent auction table as well, so attendees are encouraged to bring checkbooks. Last year the silent auction had 91 items.
“Our chamber members were amazing, and donated incredible things for the silent auction last year,” Garden said. “We are really excited for what’s coming this year.”
Tickets went on sale this week, and more than 25 percent of the tickets were sold within the first two days, Garden said. Cost is $30 for chamber members, $35 for non-members. To reserve a table of eight people costs $25 extra. Get tickets at the Charles City Chamber of Commerce or call at 641-228-4234, or email email@example.com for tickets or more information.