TIFTON -- The 24th annual Love Affair Fine Arts Festival will be a four-day event this year beginning April 30 at Fulwood Park. The "Dress for Your Destination" Spring Affair fundraiser to support the festival and other local arts events is scheduled for Feb. 28 at the Henry Tift Myers Airport.

Organizers of the fundraiser and the festival announced plans Thursday at a press conference held in ABAC's Chapel of All Faiths. Entertainment was provided by the Matt Wilson Elementary School's Chorus.

Spring Affair chairman Laurie Vitale said this year's event is a travel-related party. Participants are urged to dress according to a specific vacation destination.

"We are urging people to be creative and chose a destination and then dress for that destination," said Laurie Vitale, Spring Affair chairman.

A best destination prize will be awarded.

Tickets are $60 per person and may be purchased by calling the ABAC Arts Connection at 229-386-3558.

A light international buffet will be served. Original artworks from nationally acclaimed and regionally recognized artists, including local artists, will be auctioned. Tickets to the Fox Theater's Theater of Stars series, 16 weekend trips, certificates for food, Taekwondo, bridge lessons, wills and catering services will also be auctioned.

A raffle for $1,000 will also be held. Vitale said raffle tickets are $10 each and participants have a one in 400 chance of winning.

Local businesses and organizations are donating items and money to the fundraiser, but more is needed to help make it a success, Vitale said.

Vitale, who lives in Nashville, said her two sons are musicians and the concerts and other opportunities offered by the Tift County Arts Council and ABAC's Art Connection provide the opportunity for them to experience the arts locally.

"My children wouldn't have that if it weren't for Love Affair and the Arts Council bringing in these wonderful performances from other locations," Vitale said. "I serve on the Arts Council because it is important that children here and in surrounding rural communities have these opportunities.

"We want education to continue in the arts."

Jeannie Rigdon, this year's Love Affair chairman, said fundraising is necessary to continue the "quality and growth" of the event.

"The Love Affair is basically free for everyone who wishes to celebrate the arts or just have a good time," Rigdon said.

Anyone interested in purchasing tickets to the Spring Affair can call ABAC Arts Connection office at 229-386-3558.



To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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