Newman University’s annual Party on the Plaza is approaching quickly. After a year of planning, the event is nearly finalized and is sure to be a night to remember.
A new theme will set the tone for this year’s party — “Return to the Renaissance” was chosen because of its sentimental meaning to the Newman and Wichita communities. In the past, Newman University held an annual Renaissance faire that was created as a result of a class project in 1975.
The Renaissance faire ran for 26 years; hundreds of Wichita community members enjoyed the vendors, musicians and street entertainers that filled the Newman campus. The event eventually became a fundraiser for student scholarships, which fits perfectly for the mission of Party on the Plaza.
Director of Alumni and Campus Events Laura Hartley said, “Many of Newman’s alumni have a real fondness and affection for the old Renaissance faires because it really was a community kind of family event where everyone here on campus helped.
“We thought it would be fun to kind of bring a little bit of that back to campus with the Party on the Plaza.”
The 2019 Party on the Plaza will bring a bit of that old Renaissance feeling back to Newman with themed entertainment and music.
Local Wichitans, staff members and students have already volunteered to help with the entertainment for the night, and Hartley is looking forward to making this year’s Party on the Plaza a lively event. Guests will be able to practice their archery skills for a prize, buy a signature drink — blackberry bourbon smash, purchase a commemorative cup from past Renaissance faires and bid on auction items straight from their phones.
This year’s silent auction items appeal to a variety of interests and include photo packages, jewelry, staycations, tickets and memberships to local art, music and history experiences, and an array of handmade crafts.
The live auction items include a handcrafted grandfather clock made by Father Tom Welk, a Branson vacation, $5,000 worth of billboard advertising, a ride in a 1942 airplane and much more.
Guests will be fed well with dinner choices like prime rib, roasted chicken, alfredo pasta and complementary sides.
Hartley added, “The ultimate goal is to generate money for student scholarships and we hope that people who come to Party on the Plaza come with that in mind.”
This year’s honorary chairs are Gene and Yolanda Camarena. Sponsors include Glenna and David Borho, Dale Withers, Legacy Bank, Rusty Eck Ford, Spirit AeroSystems Inc., and others.