By Alyse Horn
For its 17th Annual Urban Garden Party, the Mattress Factory is asking attendees to “Polish your spurs, untangle your fringe and get on down to the hottest saloon in town.”
Inspired by the “Wild West,” the fundraiser will take place on Friday, June 20 at from 7 to 11 p.m. Samantha Strahota, communications and marketing manager for MF, said VIP tickets are sold out but general admission is still available. Tickets are $100 and $75 for MF members.
Strahota said the fundraiser is the biggest event of the year for the MF, and last year the Urban Garden Party was able to raise $265,000 for the museum.
Strahota said the evening will feature a silent auction of one-of-a-kind artwork, bull riding with The Bull Guys and a Wild West photo booth from Selfie Studios. Special performances by DJ Zimmie, Shelf Life String Band, Stampede, Kierra Darshell’s Divas of Drag and the Mad House Dancers will take place throughout the evening, and the museum’s galleries at 500 Sampsonia Way will also be open, with the exclusion of those on the second floor.
Food and drink from over 40 of Pittsburgh’s foremost restaurants and catering companies will be offered throughout the evening.
Penn Brewery, located at 800 Vinial Street, will host the official Wild West After Party. Strahota said the kitchen will be open late to accommodate partygoers, and $3 drink specials will be offered to Urban Garden Party attendees who wear their wristbands to Penn Brewery after the party.
To ensure safety, the MF has partnered with Uber to provide transportation for guests. Attendees who download the Uber app on their smart phone for the first time can enter promo code WILDWEST to receive $20 off their first ride. A drop-off and pick-up Uber stand will be located at the intersection of Monterey Street and Sampsonia Way. A shuttle will also be available at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, located at 10 Children’s Way in Allegheny Commons, at no cost.
On Sunday, June 22 the MF will hold its free Community Garden Party from 1 to 5 p.m. to celebrate the museum’s neighborhood and families. All ages are welcome, and the event is open to the public.
According to a press release, activities will include panning for gold, building your own old-timey town and crafting a sheriff badge. Guests will also have the opportunity to try a screen printing project with Artist Image Resource; explore circus shenanigans with Zany Umbrella Circus; square dance with the Haygood Paisleys; pose for Wild West postcards with Fishstep Studios; create a flower tunnel with the Fortress Project; ride a mechanical bull with The Bull Guys; and play skee-ball with Nomadic Arcade.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will be in attendance and the Chiodi Trio will perform as well, which offers toe-tapping banjo fun from a father and sons. The PGH Taco Truck will be at the Community Garden Party for those who wish to purchase food.