Acoustic and cozy

Published in THE JOURNAL 11/7/19
Text posted with permission from the author.

With the weekly installments of Jazz on the Alley wrapped up for the season, two museums have teamed up to keep the Thursday tradition somewhat alive during the chillier months. Winter Nights brings dinner and a show to the joint lawn space between the Lunney and Bertha Strickland museums in Seneca.

The $10 admission price gives visitors a chance to look at the exhibits, eat a hot meal and enjoy some local music and a night bundled up under the stars. “We’ll have tables, seating, the lawn is decorated and it will be lit up for the holidays,” Bertha Strickland Museum executive director Shelby Henderson said. “We’ve got lawn and patio heaters that will be all over the place, a couple of fire pits and we’re just asking people to bundle up — it’s winter nights.”

The partnership between the city, museums and local restaurants is just one way to show off all Seneca has to offer, city events coordinator Riley Johnson said. “Some people who go there for the night may not have ever visited either museum, so they’ll be entertained and educated,” he said. “Plus we’re keeping people out and active in our downtown.” While Henderson said there are several installations of Winter Nights planned, each with its own musician and menu, the museums are using the Thursday events as a way to introduce people to the outdoor space between the back-to-back buildings.

“The museums are wanting to be more of a community space and introduce people to us actually doing things outdoors on our lawn, because we share the back lawn,” she said. “It’s never been utilized to its fullest capacity. We’ve got a beautiful walking path that connects the two museums from door to door, and so we just wanted to kick off what we’re going to be doing in the future — outdoor events for the museums — and this is just the first.”

It doesn’t hurt that city administrator Scott Moulder helped with the outdoor holiday décor or that the Lunney Museum is on a “Biltmore schedule” with its Christmas décor, she said. “It’s not Jazz on the Alley. We won’t have dance music, per se, but it’s nice acoustic music that’s laid back,” she said. “It’s from 5-8 p.m., so it’s not too late. They can go hang out at other local restaurants on the alley or (Highway) 123, or get home at a reasonable hour.”

The $10 tickets include entertainment, meal and a beverage of choice, and a bar will be set up as well. Reservations aren’t required, she said, though buying tickets at 313 Café or would help the chefs prepare the meals. In the event of rain, tickets will be good for any other Winter Nights event, she said, but she’s hoping people grab their jackets and blankets for a cozy night under the stars. “We’re excited to get lit up,” she said. “It’s going to be beautiful back here.” | (864) 973-6686
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Winter Nights takes place on the back lawn between Lunney Museum and Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum in Seneca
Thursday Nov. 14, Nov. 21 and Dec. 12 from 5-8 pm
The $10 tickets are good for acoustic music, museum admission, dinner and a drink