By Andrea Bosco
Photography: Bridgett Kay Photography, LLC

More than 1,300 party-goers saddled up for one of Pittsburgh’s most prominent parties at the Mattress Factory museum! With a Wild West theme, this year’s Urban Garden Party kicked things off with the VIP Hootenanny in the “Lower Level Saloon.” With sounds similar to Johnny Cash and the True Blood soundtrack, Baltimore band The Sterling Sisters performed as VIPs were served bourbon cocktails in Mason jars and hors d’oeuvres like cornbread and bacon-wrapped jalapeños. In their favorite fringe and leather boots, guests, Host Committee members, and donors moseyed upstairs with co-chairs Sarah Thomas and Dan Drawbaugh for tasty, lowcountry fare by Bob Sendall and All in Good Taste Productions. A show-stopping, studded bustier by Richard Parsakian was just one incredible auction item available for perusing. The fun continued with a Dolly Parton impersonator and the ultimate Johnny Cash tribute with Terry Lee Goffee! Soon after, the doors opened to reveal 40 restaurants and bars, and their delicious fixins’! A line formed for all, which included mechanical bull riding with The Bull Guys and selfies at Selfie Studios’ photo booth. Performances by Stampede, DJ Zimmie, Shelf Life String Band, and Kierra Darshell’s Divas of Drag provoked a packed dance floor, as guests were encouraged to swing their partners round and round. And, more than $155,000 was raised for the museum! Says Director of Museum Advancement Alexis Tragos, “We continually are amazed at the generosity of our sponsors, Host Committee, vendors, and guests whose commitment and support help the museum raise important operating funds for exhibitions, public programs, and its artists-in-residence.”

Event photos are available for purchase in the WHIRL Photo Vault:

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