Party with a Purpose: The 21st Annual North Market Apron Gala

Party with a Purpose: The 21st Annual North Market Apron Gala

The North Market Apron Gala is, at its heart, a party. After all, the word “gala” anchors the title of the event. 

But, in truth, the Apron Gala is so much more: a fundraiser which benefits the North Market Development Authority, a nonprofit organization which operates the historic public market; a showcase of the North Market’s diversified vendors and their delicious and unique wares ... 

... and finally, a community gathering, where likeminded folks get together to eat, laugh, and reimbue themselves with the sense of local comradery that makes living in this town so worthwhile.

The 2017 North Market Apron Gala, the 21st celebration, was no exception. 

Featuring a fluid three-course menu that encouraged guests to wander around the still newly-reimagined selection and layout of vendors across the historic market, the food featured at the gala ranged from elegant tidbits, like Oysters on the Half Shell from The Fish Guys and Marinated and Panko Breaded Green Tomatoes from Taste of Belgium ... 

... to luscious desserts, like Jeni’s Splendid’s Waffle Bowl to S’mores Donuts from Destination Donuts. Patrons were encouraged to sample from over 30 different eateries, and such generosity of cuisine led to a generosity of spirit.

The fundraising aspect of the North Market Apron Gala is, arguably, its most important. 

Every year, the event raises the funds needed to sustain the Market’s operations and upkeep, promote its undertaking to make fresh, local foods more accessible to the resident community, and help support small business owners as they build their commercial identities. 

And with a variety of recognizable, locally-owned companies at the ready to contribute, the Live Auction at the Apron Gala was one of the most lively, exciting, and inspiring parts of the night.

With auctioneer Brennan Wallick of Don R. Wallick Auctions on the call, amazing gifts and prizes, like free pizza for a full year from Mikey’s Late Night Slice and a 75-person pig roast courtesy of Market & Boar, were quickly sold off, helping to raise thousands of dollars and, hopefully, surpass last year’s fundraising record.

And, as this was a party, there were rocking tunes from Yachtly Crue, free-flowing drinks (included with admission), and a true mash-up of the city’s diversified population. Here, the buzz in the air was palpable, as old friends who convene once a year on this night got reacquainted, and new friends were quickly made.

Giving back to one’s neighborhood should be something we all want to do. Indeed, it is our neighborhoods –  our companions, acquaintances, and allies –  that make everything else that fills our everyday worth the effort. 

The North Market Apron Gala is but one small, but enjoyable, way to make a contribution. It is, after all, as one party guest succinctly summed: “This is a good time, for a good cause, in a good place”.

Ayana Wilson

Ayana Wilson writes reviews and articles for NID Magazine.