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The Lookout | September 28, 2021

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Thrift Gala to be the talk of REO town

Thrift Gala to be the talk of REO town
The Lookout

Sarah Spohn

A&E Editor

Calling all thrift twenty-somethings! REO Town is hosting its first-ever Thrift Store Gala this March. It’s time to start hunting for a previously loved suit and tie, or a former glory of a cocktail dress.

The event is Saturday, March 29 at Foliage Design Systems of Mid-Michigan, 1027 S. Washington St. in REO Town.

Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

This formal event is sure to be the talk of REO Town. The gala will include a plethora of live entertainment for every brocade-wearing lady and every velveteen-suited man in the house.

The evening will feature half-hour long burlesque shows from seven of the finest performers in Michigan, live music by a jazz quartet, a pin-up pageant and more.

Closing out the night following the live entertainment will be DJ Sammy from Spiral spinning tunes until 2 a.m.

Ryan Wert, owner of Elm Street Recording Studio, and the event organizer, spoke about how the gala came about.

“We had some friends who have what they call the ‘classy party’ every year,” Wert said. “It started when they were undergrads in college and now they’re 30 and it’s kind of continued as an annual thing.

“We sort of got the idea to take that and scale it up since we know how to do it,” Wert added.

The collaborating soon began. Enter Autumn Luciano, owner of Decadence Dolls Photography, a specialized vintage pin-up portrait studio. Wert contacted Luciano and the two have been planning this major party ever since.

“I have always wanted to put together my own pageant and this gala gave me a great opportunity,” Luciano said.

This pin-up pageant is unlike others of its kind because it requires the outfits to be made solely of thrift store finds.

Luciano said she is excited for the big night.

“I have high hopes that it will be a success and become an annual event in REO Town,” she said.

Besides the partnership of Wert and Luciano, the gala is being made possible by plenty of other local businesses and individuals. Small plates, appetizers and sweets will be catered by Kait’s Vintage Café in REO Town. Furniture will be provided by Dicker & Deal. Rock n Rummage will be on hand selling vintage antiques.

Jeana-Dee Rogers, art director from the Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle (LUVs), will be decorating the venue.

If burlesque, live music and cupcakes aren’t enough of a reason to attend, what about booze? After all, the event is 21-plus. A cash bar will keep the party hopping until 2 a.m.

What started out as a small friends only party has quickly set the precedent for what could be the biggest party in the history of REO Town.

“We initially were thinking if we could get 100 people to show up, we’ll feel pretty good about it … All of a sudden we had 100 people who RSVP’d,” Wert said.

“I think it’s going to be a lot bigger than we anticipated which is awesome.” Wert added.

Expect the REO Town Thrift Store Gala to be just one of many future local events.

For more info, visit