A country music concert and dinner event will be hosted Saturday to benefit the renovations of the Uptown Theatre. Sedalia’s country music legend Leroy Van Dyke will also be attending the event.
Sedalia Downtown Development Inc. Administrator Meg Liston said the event will be hosted next to the Uptown in the Katie Building venue at 219 S. Ohio Ave.
“It will our first opportunity to see the facility in use,” Liston added. “There will be a fried chicken dinner and a lot of comfort food with that.”
She added that they are hoping to have more than 200 people attend the fundraising event.
“We would consider it a success with 250 to 300, that would be great,” she added.
The meal will be prepared by Marty Lange and feature not only fried chicken but collard greens, mashed potatoes and gravy and dessert.
“It’s his fried chicken, he has a special fried chicken,” Liston said. “He’s going to cook it over at the Senior Center and then bring it in.
“We would like pre-sales,” she added. “That will help us. We would like an idea of how many will be coming.”
Music for the event will be provided by a new young artist.
“The concert entertainment is Sara Morgan,” she said. “She’s a young country music artist … originally from Arkansas but is now in the Kansas City area. She’s very young and just starting out.
“She was here in Sedalia a few weeks ago,” Liston added. “She was going through doing radio appearances and interviews through the Midwest. She stopped in Sedalia, so we became more familiar with her music and who she was. This is the type of act that we hope to frequent with the Uptown appearances. We want to promote young artists.”
Liston added that Morgan has a few recordings already out and is touring.
“She’s very agriculturally focused,” Liston noted. “A lot of her music is written to promote agriculture and youth in agriculture. She’s a really nice artist.”
During the evening Van Dyke will act as the auctioneer for a live auction.
“He’s not going to sing, he wants it real clear that he is auctioneer only,” Liston added. “We have some items left from the radio auction that KDRO and Marty Lange did. There’s some jewelry and things and probably what we’ll do is a celebrity pie auction.”
Liston said they welcome pie donations.
“We are actually going to auction sponsorship of some of the theatre seats,” she added. “We particularly hope to sell a whole row and then put in a dedication sponsorship plate on the end of seat of that row.”
Liston said they are hoping to receive $400,000 in Midtown TIF Redevelopment Project funds to help with the renovations. The Sedalia City Council approved including the Uptown Theatre renovations in the Midtown TIF during its meeting Monday night, but contracts have not been drafted or voted on regarding when funds will be released. If the funds are received, Liston said they plan to begin physical construction by late June or early July.
“That would set us on a schedule to be done by the end of the year,” she added. “We do need to raise $200,000 outside of the TIF.”
The Uptown Theatre Sara Morgan Concert and Benefit Auction by Leroy Van Dyke will be hosted at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Katie Building at 219 S. Ohio Ave. Tickets for the event are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. They are available at Swords Pharmacy in downtown Sedalia, at Rick Ball Ford, 2505 W. Broadway Blvd., or by calling Liston at 287-6659.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.