Vintage Valentine, New Ideas

Love is in the air. Flowers are being plucked and sent to those admired. Cards with words of endearment are being sent. It can only be Valentine’s Day (soon). We at the Barker Mansion are getting involved in the festivities with a special event, our Vintage V-Day event. Today (Saturday) the mansion is opened to all to experience some great music, a silent auction, a thrift sale, and more. A lot of vintage clothing and other items are up for grabs in the silent auction and thrift sale. Some of the vintage clothing up for grabs include purses, hats, coats, shoes, and a lot more. None of these items belonged to the Barker family, and we felt this was a better time than any to release them from our collection.

Enjoying the first 21+ event.

Usually our events are catered to the whole family, meant to bring adults and children together. However, in another first for the Barker Mansion, our Vintage V-Day event is a 21 and over event. Obviously, this means families (that have underage children) aren’t the focus. If there is ever a time to have such an event, Valentine’s Day makes the most logical choice. Couples are able to visit the mansion and share adult beverages (champagne and beer), have some hors d’oeuvers, and relax to sounds of jazz music. These are all very much “adult” things to do.

The interesting part of having this event is that we are now able to capture the attention of a new group of people. As stated before, many of our past events have been about bringing in families. These events are amazing and always a blast to have, but it’s important, especially for a place like Barker Mansion, to hold events that cater to different types of people. Instead of saying “bring the whole family”, this time we’re saying “find a sitter, and come enjoy a pleasant time with your significant other”.

John and Katherine Barker.

When talking about the Barker Mansion, it’s easy to forget that the mansion is also a civic center. The definition of civic center is to provide an environment for the community/outlet for the community for public use. It’s an inter-generational gathering place. This is the direction the mansion is going in. This particular event is catering to a specific age group, the 21 and over age group. The 21 and over group has been previously neglected outside of the annual Pink Tea event and house tours.

I worked the photo booth for this event, and I had the opportunity to meet a lot of the couples that came to the event. For many of the couples, this was the first time they stepped into the mansion. They felt this was an event that more spoke to them and their interests. For returning couples, they thought this event was a great first step in broadening our reach to more people. Both types enjoyed their time and look forward to visiting the mansion again for similar events.

We at the mansion hope to continue hosting more events of this nature. By planning more events that speak to more generations across the board, we’re investing in the future of the mansion. We’re also investing in the people of Michigan City.

Miguel Valencia


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