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Fundraiser for kidscommons a little bit Brit


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Attendees of a past kidsommons' Carnivale event socialize at the local museum.
File photo/The Republic Attendees of a past kidsommons' Carnivale event socialize at the local museum.


If the 10th annual Carnivale for kidscommons is supposed to be a party with a United Kingdom flair, then who better than 1960s British bands to rock the house?

Or at least a good cover band cranking out classic rock tunes?

That’s the perspective of Nashville’s Barry Johnson, drummer for the ensemble that carries his name. He’ll lead a four-member board for the Feb. 9 fundraiser known for its festive spirit in support of the downtown children’s museum’s operating expenses.

He’s got the music down: tunes from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Dave Clark Five, The Who, Cream, David Bowie and more.

“But I’m not sure I know how to dress British,” Johnson said, laughing about the group’s possible ‘60s-oriented, skinny-tie appearance and presentation.

Let the fashionistas figure that out. But Diane Robbins, kidscommons community relations and marketing manager, offered other ideas for attendees.

“We’ve told them that crowns and kilts are optional,” she joked.

Organizers expect about 250 people for the gathering that generated $62,000 last year amid a Rio de Janeiro theme. Each year, the event focuses on a different cultural celebration.

“I think it does offer a good opportunity to share our community’s diversity,” Robbins said.

The Southern Indiana Pipes & Drums will offer a Scottish sound early in the evening, according to Mary Stroh, among Carnivale’s four co-chairs. Stroh attended her first of these events a few years ago, and is now part of a group

aiming “to expand the audience.”

Part of that push has been through social media such as Facebook. There also has been discussion in the past about perhaps adding a lower ticket price for a younger audience, Stroh said.

Through the years, planners always have involved residents from the actual areas linked with the gatherings’ themes to make the food and atmosphere as authentic as possible. This year, ex-United Kingdom residents decided to feature a pancake-flipping contest, because pancakes have become a hallmark in England on Shrove Tuesday, a day of celebration before Ash Wednesday.

The idea? Pancakes’ often-rich ingredients have made a great last-ditch, rich treat before Lent’s time of denial or fasting.

Those attending will vote for their favorite pancake flipper — Tony Gambaiani, Missy Neal, Tim Coriden or Charlie Farber — to then face chef Gethin Thomas.

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