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Cole Porter festival off to slow start

BY JARED KEEVER - jkeever@perutribune.com

The Cole Porter festival got rolling Thursday as event organizers made ready for a busy weekend of activities.

As of 1 p.m. they remained hopeful that sunny weather was going to bring out the crowds to celebrate the legacy of the songwriter, composer and Peru native.

“It’s slower than years past,” festival co-chair Vicki Draper said in a brief phone interview.

Draper had been taking ticket orders and reservations for the four days worth of events.

The first of those, slated for Thursday evening, included a roving, pay-as-you-go dinner with stops at various downtown eateries.

There was also a wine tasting at Gallery 15 on Main Street.

That’s where Draper’s counterpart, Ellen Mock, and gallery partner, Tana Bondar, were earlier in the afternoon, setting up for the evening’s event.

Mock said they usually have between 30 and 35 people for the tasting.

Looking at ticket sales, Draper said it didn’t appear that they would be that far off for the evening.

She had 22 tickets sold, she said, “but we will get some at the door.”

Planning and set up for the weekend, was going well, Draper said.

“The people that are coming seem to be enthusiastic,” she said.

The festival extends through Sunday afternoon, ending with an ice cream social and music on the courthouse square. In between there will be an art show, informative talks, a kids talent show and various meals and a cocktail party.

In all, Draper said she estimated they were about 25 percent down from years past in terms of ticket sales and reservations, but said that may still pick up.

“We will get some more,” she said. “We’ve gotten stuff today.”

 For a schedule of events, tickets and additional information visit: coleporterfestival.org.