The 2nd Annual Sips and Stars at the Barn was a Sensory Feast

There’s really no better day, in my opinion, than one that’s got dinner, some shopping, and a show on the agenda. And I got to save time, money, and gas because I was lucky enough to get to go to the 2nd annual Sips and Stars at the Barn event.

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Sips and Stars is a collaboration between Bargain Barn, Inc., Chicago Street Theatre, and ValpoLife. The idea was to bring local businesses together in one place so that the public can enjoy many of the city’s offerings without having to travel far. Guests are able to learn about the businesses in a no-pressure, fun environment. The Bargain Barn parking lot was full so that definitely meant that there were some curious folks in Valpo.

Upon entering, guests were given a unique gift. Sky lanterns were handed out as a token of appreciation from Bargain Barn. Only at Bargain Barn can you find something neat like that.

The host and hostess for the evening were Eric Brant of Chicago Street Theatre and Tevlyn Schwerd of Bargain Barn. They welcomed guests and encouraged them to enjoy themselves and find out what the fuss was all about.

“This is a wonderful collaboration within our community,” Schwerd said. “We’ve got food vendors sharing their different foods with us, and the furniture you are sitting on is Ashley Brand furniture that we carry here. Please feel free to look around as we have a lot of interesting things to see here at our store.

The title Sips and Stars denoted what the event would be showcasing. Sips referred to the edibles that local restaurants were serving. Hungry Inc. served up their famous pulled pork sliders, macaroni and cheese, and homemade potato chips, Sage served various wines and cheeses, Texas Roadhouse of Portage provided savory barbecue ribs and green beans with bacon, and Four Fathers Brewing brought craft beers. Guests happily helped themselves the scrumptious food and drink, and took advantage of the easy shopping opportunity as the event was inside the department store.

“I heard about the event today,” Julie Deal said. “I wanted to come and check it out. I heard Four Fathers was here and I’ve always wanted to try their beer, and I’m a frequent shopper at Bargain Barn. They have some really cool stuff here at very reasonable prices.”

Throughout the event, Chicago Street Theatre thespians performed snippets of their upcoming shows in the 2015 season (The “Stars” in Sips and Stars).

Everyone sat in rapt attention (on the comfortable Bargain Barn furniture) as the performers shared their talents, bringing life to pieces from Angels of Lemnos, Young Frankenstein, Cobb, and Hamlet.

“This event gives us a captive audience so we can show them some things and introduce them to some great local businesses that they may not know about,” Brant said. “It’s a great event where we can spent two straight hours celebrating Valparaiso businesses. And not only Valpo but from Portage, too, with Texas Roadhouse. I think it’s cool that they came to join us.”

At the end of the show an announcement was made for the Little Black Dress event which is coming up on May 14, 2015, another fabulous event that is a collaboration between local businesses in the area that brings fashion to the community.