ARCATA – Enjoy a bit of France without the jet lag on Friday, May 3 at the Elegant French Dinner and Dance. Held at the Arcata Community Center, the event features a gourmet four-course French dinner, live jazz, swing dance lessons and dancing with the Delta Nationals.
Now in its 11th year, this special evening benefits Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy (NPA), a local charter high school. The event raises funds for students to expand their educational horizons and explore the world.
At 6:30 p.m., NPA students will serve guests a sit-down dinner by French chef Marceau Verdiere and desserts by Ramone’s Bakery and Lauren Sarabia of Comfort of Home Catering (see menu). Swing dance lessons at 7:30 p.m. will be followed by dancing to the Delta Nationals from 8 to 11 p.m.
Verdiere, a former restaurateur, teaches international studies and art at NPA. He said, “The funds raised at this event help our students to participate in NPA’s international travels, giving them the chance to experience different cultures in ways they could not on a simple tourist visit.”
Each NPA trip is created around a community service, artistic or historical project, and students usually live with local families. Past trips have included teaching English as a Second Language in Thailand, working on a sheep farm in France, and performing a play in Spain.
“One of the main goals of NPA’s International Baccalaureate program is for our students to develop into international-minded people,” Verdiere said. “At a time when too many negative views are thrown around, we firmly believe that such opportunities help our students to be positively excited about the world.
The Delta Nationals are one of Humboldt County’s favorite dance bands, playing rock and roll, R&B, classic country, swing and soul.
Over the past dozen years, the band has performed at Blues by the Bay, the Redwood Coast Jazz Festival, Dell’Arte’s Mad River Festival, local clubs and large fundraisers. They have played every Elegant French Dinner and Dance since the event’s inception 11 years ago.
Admission to the dinner and dance is $45. Dinner seating is limited; advance tickets for the dinner are required and can be purchased at Wildberries Marketplace or online at brownpapertickets.com.
For the dance only, tickets are $10 general and $8 for students and seniors. Dance tickets can be purchased at the door.
This event is generously sponsored by Dell’Arte. For more information about the Elegant French Dinner and Dance or about NPA, which consistently ranks among the top 25 high schools in the nation, call (707) 445-2355 or see northcoastprep.org.