Well, I hope I am a better Gaslight Gal than I am a blogger! Meantime, some updates:

Spaces are still available at the Gala, so if you want to come, e-mail me at gaslightgal@gmail.com! Or if you want to contribute to the program, do let me know – we still have room for toasts! And don’t be afraid to participate if this is your first time attending. I can give you a subject for your toast, which is really just a short speech or poem in honor of a person, place, or thing related to Sherlock Holmes, followed, of course, by a drink.

In keeping with tradition, we will be having a small auction and a raffle. Auction items will include a scarf hand-illustrated by longtime attendee and former organizer Laurie Manifold and tickets to Philadelphia’s premier Steampunk and neo-Victorian event Dorian’s Parlor. Raffle items include SherlOtter and JohnHog figurines (tributes to the BBC series, in adorable animal form) and a copy of attendee and reader Maria Konnikova’s new book Mastermind, about the cognitive science of Sherlock Holmes. And more of course — this is just a sample. Proceeds from both support the cost of putting the event on.

I’ve received a couple of questions about attire – I would call the Gala a “black-tie optional” event, and Victorian attire would not be out of place. Think formal and classy, but be yourself and be comfortable! This is definitely a guideline, not a rule, and I have never heard of anyone being turned away due to dress. Coat check is included in our price (though tips are accepted), so you can stash outerwear, boots, and bags as you need.

The evening starts out at 6:30 with a cocktail hour (cash bar) and hors d’oeuvres which typically include fruit and cheese as well as warm yummy things like chicken satay and little egg rolls. We’ll start our program at 7:30 – I’m saving some surprises for the night, but we have a book reading and a very interesting short paper, music by The Wandering Cellist, a song by Kristen Taylor of the Radium Angels, a classic skit, and toasts to Adventure! In the midst of this, a pause-

Dinner is buffet-style with carving stations and a number of options. I’ve not seen anyone go hungry, even if they need to be vegetarian, gluten free, or meet other dietary needs.

We pick up the program for entertainment while we eat and after, and of course, there is dessert. Though I am no longer a member of the dessert-eating class because of my own dietary needs (at least at this event), I remember the chocolate cake and cheesecake as being excellent, and coffee and tea are served. This is a good thing, because even though our event ends by 11:30 promptly (if we try to stay late, we will be turned into pumpkins) many of our crowd often meet with those who have attended the Baker Street Irregulars dinner at a Times Square watering hole to compare notes, learn who has been invested, and celebrate one of the high points of the weekend.

I look forward to seeing you all at the Gala and the weekend’s other events. And please, if you have questions, e-mail me – gaslightgal@gmail.com. See you soon!