Cole Porter Festival

Cole Porter Festival Offers Cocktail Party, Lunch with Mr. Porter and More!

Peru’s annual Cole Porter Festival, scheduled for Thursday evening June 6 through Sunday afternoon June 9, is filled with music, food, film, multimedia presentations, tours and an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social.  Nearly 500 people will be in attendance from as far away as San Diego and Chicago and as close as Kokomo and Logansport.

 Thursday begins at 5:30 – 7:30 pm with a Wine Tasting at Gallery 15.  $25 per person includes a commemorative glass, 6 wines, hard cider and charcuterie.  Entertainment will be provided by pianist Cindy Watson.  Reservations may be made by calling (765) 472-7655, but are not required. The wine tasting is sponsored by Dobbs Legal Group, LLC.   At 6 – 9 pm the Progressive Porter dinner will feature special courses based on Cole’s dinner parties at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.  Courses are Crab Bisque at Dillinger’s, Salad C’est Magnifique at Voodoo Public House, Steak Bearnaise at Smitty McMusselman’s, and Pot du Crème au Chocolat.  A $5 reservation fee will be refunded at Smitty’s if you order the Steak Bearnaise.  Progressive Porter is sponsored by Miami County Tourism.

Friday will feature a free showing of Mr. Porter’s hit movie Kiss Me Kate at 10 am at the Roxy 5.  This is a musical reinvention of the Shakespeare play Taming of the Shrew, and stars Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel.  Kiss Me Kate is sponsored by the Roxy 5.  A new event, Lunch with Mr. Porter, will feature Dr. Jason Gornto as Cole Porter at the Miami County Artisan Gallery at 11:30 am – 1 pm.  A gourmet luncheon will include white wine and champagne.  Lunch with Mr. Porter is sponsored by Smith Sawyer Smith.  Charles Troy will present a multimedia presentation, Cole’s Top Ten Lust Songs, at the Miami County Museum Annex across the street from the Museum at 2 pm – 2:45 pm.  The presentation is sponsored by Anne Kennedy, and is without charge.  At 5:30, Anything Goes! A Kids’ Talent Show will be performed at the Ivy Tech Community College in the Psi Iota Xi Auditorium, 425 West 3rd Street.  Pat Piper and Tamily Hileman have produced this kids’ Miami County talent show.  See the stars of the future!  Sponsored by Bellar Construction and Caldwell Monument Company.  The third annual Cocktails and Cole will be held at 7 pm at the Historic Roberts Home, 108 West Third.  $39 per person includes a cocktail buffet, two upscale cocktails, and entertainment by Dave Lowe and guest vocalist Jim Graft.  Reservations are required by calling (765) 472-7655.  Cocktails and Cole is sponsored by Maricel and Charles Heeter.

Saturday begins with another new event, Wake Up with Cole, at the Peru Civic Center from 8 am to 9:30 am.  A scrumptious breakfast will be served, with entertainment by Cindy Watson. At 10 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:30 pm, bus tours leave from the Miami County Museum on Broadway.  These $10 guided tours include the Cole Porter birthplace, the Old Fashioned Garden, and the gravesite.  Reservations are appreciated, walk ups are encouraged.  The 10:00 am tour sells out quickly.  The Tours are sponsored by Crossroads Bank.  Inside the museum from 11 am – 2 pm, free hour-long concerts will be presented by Nostalgia Entertainment, Tom and Tommy Kraft, and Zak Tschiniak.  Sponsors are the Cole Porter Inn and First Merchants Bank.  Lunch vendors Apostolic Chapel will sell pulled pork, baked goods and drinks under the tent outside the museum on 5th Street.  Second Saturday will begin at 5 pm, with live music and specials throughout downtown.  Kids’ Corner, featuring crafts and food, will be at East 5th Street next to the Museum.  Courthouse music will be provided by acoustic guitarist Steve Michaels from 5 – 9 pm.  The evening will conclude with Celebrating Cole!  Festival favorite Charles Troy will  present “Cole Porter in the 30’s.  Songs from that era will be performed live by Matt Gruek and Cynthia Fortune-Gruel of Nostalgia Entertainment. The tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.  Call (765) 472-7655 to purchase in advance.  Celebrating Cole! is sponsored by the James O.  and Alice F. Cole Foundation.

Sunday begins at 11 am – 1 pm with Lunch at the Garden, at the Old Fashioned Garden, 2455 S. Frances Slocum Trail.  Admission is $35 and includes a gourmet lunch, champagne, mimosas and white wine.  Entertainment is provided by Dave Lowe and guest vocalist Jim Graft.  Reservations are required. Lunch at the Garden is sponsored by First Farmers Bank & Trust and Wabash Valley Abstract Company, Inc.   In case of inclement weather, the luncheon will be moved to Milestone Event Center, 1458 Liberator Road, on Grissom Air Reserve Base.  Participants will be notified on Thursday, June 6.  At 1 – 3 pm, an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social will be held on the Courthouse Square.  Free ice cream and entertainment by Swampwater Stompers and Kokomo Men of Note will be featured.  The social is sponsored by Family Optometry and Beacon Credit Union.

To make reservations, call Vicki Draper at (765) 472-7655 or go to the Festival’s website at  The Cole Porter Festival is produced by ReDiscover Downtown Peru.