Friday's event on the front lawn of the Everhart Museum (1901 Mulberry St., Scranton) does as much to help the museum as it does to promote a variety of healthy foods produced in northeastern Pennsylvania.
The second annual Farm To Table dinner will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 21. The inaugural event was closely tied to the museum's "Buds, Blooms, and Berries" exhibit in Sept. 2011.
"We were looking to do something that celebrated local agriculture; fresh, organic, whole foods; and responsible eating," explained Cara Sutherland, executive director of the Everhart. "We specifically targeted produce and foods created within a 100 mile radius."
The result is a menu filled with items picked just days before. Sutherland said Friday's menu wouldn't be finalized until Wednesday to guarantee the highest quality goods make their way to the table.
The first event welcomed about 130 people, despite heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. Organizers are hoping for better weather for Friday's rain-or-shine event.
Event co-chair Katharine Weis, of Clarks Summit, said that participating farms and businesses include No Bull Ranch in Mount Cobb, Hillside Farms in Dallas, Catherine Hynes from the Susquehanna Beekeepers' Association, Susquehanna Brewing Company, and Epicurean Delight of Tunkhannock.
Eckel's Farm in Clarks Summit is also donating hay bales that will be transformed into seating areas for the event.
"I love the whole idea of the fellowship of it – a community coming together to celebrate local food and drink," added event co-chair Ali Duffy, who is also providing interior decoration services. "It's a festive occasion to get to meet your neighbors. It's terrific."
The family-style dinner aids the Everhart Museum's original exhibits and programming – like next year's planned vampire- and skateboarding-themed exhibits – while keeping admission fees low.
"If you think about it, we're trying to replace the loss of more than $50,000 in state funding with the complete elimination of funding through the (Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission)," Sutherland said.
In addition to the menu filled with regional refreshments, music will be provided by DJ Steven Wallace.
Organizers have also added an auction to this year's event. Offerings include the chance to win your own Farm To Table event catered by Be Life Café and Marketplace of Clarks Summit; an overnight stay at Hotel Fauchère in Milford; and an antique piece of furniture.
Tickets for Friday's dinner, which is open to adults age 21 and over, are $100 per person and are available at www.everhart-museum.org or by calling (570) 346-7186. Sutherland recommends "country casual" attire, and jeans are preferred.
Second annual Farm To Table dinner, Fri., Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m., Everhart Museum (1901 Mulberry St., Scranton). Tickets: $100. 21 and over. Info: www.everhart-museum.org, (570) 346-7186.