Have a ball at Black & White party

Published in print and online at The Auburn Journal August 27, 2009

The Auburn Chamber of Commerce is prepared to send summer off in style this weekend with a Black & White Ball that won’t disappoint. Things were busy at the Chamber on Thursday, where volunteer coordinator Britney Milbury said tickets sales were going strong.

“There’s a constant line of people buying tickets,” she said. “It hasn’t died down. There are a lot of people wanting to come.”

For those who have yet to purchase a ticket there’s still time left. Milbury said tickets will be available at the Chamber offices and at the Gold Country Fairgrounds until the gates open at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. However, she says that there will be long lines at the gates, and advises those who are interested in attending to come by the Chamber.

If you already have your ticket, don’t forget to reserve a campsite, if you want to spend the entire night. Fairground camping CALSTAR is renting the baseball field above the fairgrounds to allow for free tent camping. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and closes at 8:30 p.m.

Sonja Vargas, a CALSTAR representative, said interest is high for the ball’s first year of offering a camping option.

“I’m getting a lot of calls and e-mails (about the campgrounds) and I do expect a good turnout,” Vargas said. “Everyone is very excited that this is an option this year.

Camping is one way partiers can avoid a driving under the influence arrest Saturday night. The seven law enforcement agencies that are part of the Placer County “AVOID the 7” program, funded by the Office of Traffic Safety, will saturate the Auburn area Saturday. Two officers from each agency will patrol Auburn between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., according to Richard Blanco, DUI officer with the Auburn Police Department and Placer “AVOID the 7” coordinator.

“We’re not out there to ruin anybody’s fun, we’re out there to educate and enforce,” Blanco said. “For those people who are drinking and driving, this gets them off the road.”

Public transportation If camping is not an option, there are other ways to stay off the road after drinking alcohol. Ball organizers have contracted with the city of Auburn transportation department to provide two shuttle buses that will make a continuous loop from the fairgrounds to Auburn area hotels. There are also local taxicab services.

Additionally, ball attendees who tell volunteers that they are a designated driver will receive a special wristband that entitles them to free bottled water and two free soft drinks for the night. Blanco advised designated drivers to remain alcohol-free for the evening.

“If you’re going to have a designated driver, it doesn’t mean the designated driver can have just one,” Blanco said. “It means the designated driver should have none.”

The ball, now in it’s 18th year, will feature a handful of different bands and food from a plethora of local restaurants. Come dressed in black and white or in costume in line with this year’s theme, “Summer Nights.”

“A majority of people wear black and white,” said Bruce Cosgrove, Auburn Chamber CEO. “But we get a percentage that come in costume, which is great because it adds to the show, making it all that much more fun.”

Read online at Auburnjournal.com

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