Guests mixed and mingled at the Mattress Factory’s annual fundraiser on Friday, June 19, 2015.

by Justin Criado

Home » Mattress Factory welcomes weird at annual fundraiser » Mattress Factory Urban Garden Party
by Justin Criado
by Justin Criado
The Mattress Factory's Urban Garden party took place on Friday, June 19, 2015.
by Justin Criado
by Justin Criado
Guests enjoyed a bar and open dance floor at the event.
by Justin Criado
by Justin Criado
Attendees mingled off the dance floor.
by Justin Criado
by Justin Criado
Costumed guests had a blast at this year's annual fundraiser.

Weird is welcomed.

That’s the sentiment when it comes to the Mattress Factory’s annual Urban Garden party, which was held June 19 this year.

“We encourage uniqueness,” Caitlin Harpster, MF development and membership coordinator, said. “People love to call us weird so we like to invite everybody to come to the garden party.”

Party-goers didn’t hold back when expressing themselves through dress.At this party, anyone could be anyone, or anything, for that matter. Mouseketeers mingled with mermaids, while drag queens danced with Dan Marino.

We like to invite our neighbors and artists and friends. It’s just an eclectic mix of people of all different ages and backgrounds,” Harpster said.

Over 1,200 people attended this year’s party, which serves as the museum’s primary fundraiser, making the Sampsonia Way in Central Northside the busiest, most colorful street in the city.

“I think especially since we’re in a residential area our neighbors have been very generous,” Shannon Berkheiser, education program coordinator, said. “Obviously it takes a lot for us to put something like this on.

“I think we get to know a lot of our neighbors. A lot of our students that come to the program are from the neighborhood. I think it’s great we have relationships with the families.”

The party was followed by a free-day June 22 where anyone could visit, and take part in various arts and crafts.

DSC_0509Photo by Justin Criado

Disney characters and Dan Marino were just a few of many guests enjoying the Mattress Factory’s annual fundraiser.