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January 30, 2013

Sold-out gala kicks off bicentennial celebration

NEW ALBANY — New Albany kicked off its bicentennial year in grand style Saturday night.

The “New Albany Loves You through the Decades” dinner and dance gala was held at The Grand in downtown New Albany on Saturday and many attendees dressed in their favorite era style of clothing.

The event, which was a sellout with 270 attending, is the first of many planned for the city in celebration of its 200th birthday. Develop New Albany teamed up with the Bicentennial Commission to host the dinner and dance.

“I could not be happier. We had no problems and nothing but positive comments,” said Michelle Kristiansen, co-chair for the event and branch manager of the downtown MainSource Bank location. 

Kristiansen said there were still people looking for tickets a few days before the gala, but she said organizers did not want to seat anyone in the balcony or force more tables or chairs on the main floor.

“I thought everything worked out real well,” she said. “Some told me it was perfect and we need to plan on doing another one as a closing ceremony. That is not a bad idea.”

She said that people dressing in period costumes was a nice touch. She also praised the sponsors for the event, including Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County.

“So many people got in character and I think they really enjoyed it,” she said. “The sponsors were wonderful ... everyone we talked to said ‘let’s do this.’”

New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan, who attended the gala, also was impressed with the event.

“I would like to thank Michelle Kristiansen, the gala committee members and all of the Bicentennial Commission members for all of their hard work in making sure that the bicentennial gala was a great success,” Gahan said in a written statement. “I would also like to thank Develop New Albany for the effort that their members put forth into this event. The gala served as an excellent kick-off for our bicentennial events this year, and I was pleased to see the great turnout.”

The Jamey Aebersold Band played during the cocktail hour of the gala, and following dinner, the band Lindsay Lane and Axis performed.

— News and Tribune

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