Central Carroll: Whodunnit for Hire to benefit Arts Council coming to Westminster

Lois Szymanski
Contact ReporterCantral Carroll Neighborhoods

Good food and drink, fun with friends or family, and a mystery to solve — it doesn’t get much better than this!

Whodunnit for Hire and the Best Western Westminster have teamed up with the Carroll County Arts Council for a Murder Mystery Fundraising Dinner. Join them for an evening of murder, mystery and mayhem on Friday, Sept. 21, Friday, Oct. 5, or Saturday, Nov. 3.

“Sinister Speakeasy” will transport participants back to the height of the roaring twenties, right into a popular speakeasy, bustling with gambling, illegal drinking and dancing.

“Hard core sleuthing fans will enjoy solving the crime, listening to the clues and seeing if they can figure it out,” said Wendy Olenik, owner of Sykesville’s Whodunnit for Hire. “Gregarious life-of-the-party types will love the opportunity to laugh. The mystery is a comedy and at no time will anyone be frightened or confused. It is all about having a good time.”

Olenik said folks are encouraged to dress in 1920s era clothing, but it is by no means required.

“Some folks like the opportunity to dress up and pretend they are back in the day of gangsters and flappers,” she said. “Everyone enjoys the party atmosphere that is created.”

The cost of $75 per person includes the excitement of a murder mystery, a deluxe three-course dinner with entree options, a non-alcoholic beverage, free parking, taxes and gratuity, plus downloadable photos and a donation to the Carroll County Arts Council. Attendees may also choose to participate in a 50/50 raffle.

Check-in is from 6 to 6:15 p.m. for this 6 to 9 p.m. event. Tickets are only available to guests age 21 and older and are available on Eventbrite until midnight if the previous Sunday. They will not be sold at the door.

“We presume the year is 1928,” Olenik said. “As guests arrive, we welcome them to the speakeasy. Most guests will be dressed up as gangsters and flappers - that is part of the fun. Once the crime has taken place, we'll ask everyone to help solve whodunnit. Why? Well, because we have a lot of alcohol on the premises and alcohol is illegal! It is the days of prohibition, after all.”

The menu includes a salad, a choice of entrée (Charleston chicken, roast sirlon or haddock with crab stuffing), chocolate cake with sweet raspberry sauce and coffee or tea — regular or decaf. There will be signature drinks available for purchase, too.

“These will be fun drinks like The Bathtub Gin Fizz, The Manhattan Mobster, and The Capone Cocktail,” Olenik said. “[This] is a fun and unique way to celebrate an anniversary or birthday. A company could also purchase a table or two and have their annual company dinner with us. Tables hold ten seats, so an entire family could sit together.”

Table seating is arranged on a first-come, first-serve basis with group seating available. Tickets are available www.eventbrite.com.

“I am excited to be helping the Carroll County Arts Council raise funds for their programs,” said Olenik, who has worked with other nonprofits in the past. “I live in Sykesville and have been to numerous productions and concerts. I love the Peep Show and a few years ago my son took an art class held at the center. It is important to me. I love knowing that there is a thriving arts community here.”

The Best Western Westminster is located at 451 WMC Drive, Westminster.

Historical Society Box Lunch Talk

The September Box Lunch Talk, hosted by the Historical Society of Carroll County, will take place at noon on Sept. 18 at Grace Lutheran Church, Westminster.

Suzanne Albert and James Lightner, members of the Westminster Cemetery Board of Managers, will speak on the topic of our historic Westminster Cemetery.

According to press information, a cemetery was established at the end of Church Street at the east end of Westminster in 1790. Today, it contains the graves of William Winchester (the founder of the town of Westminster), veterans from several wars, and community leaders from our past. Albert and Lightner will refer to the recently published book, “Historic Westminster Cemetery & Union Meeting House”.

Gainor Davis, executive director of HSCC hopes to see a good turnout.

“In the 19th century, the cemetery was an important part of American social life,” she said. “Families would take picnics and spend the afternoon visiting and honoring their ancestors. Westminster Cemetery, like other historic places, binds collective memories, both past and present, to people and events critical to telling a community’s history. “

Attend the talk on Tuesday, Sept. 18, beginning at noon inside Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 21 Carroll Street, Westminster. The cost is $3 for members or $7 for non-members.

Bring a lunch or enjoy the beverage and snack included in the admission price. For more information, call 410-848-6494.

Pancake Breakfast

Come out for an All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, Sep. 15, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. inside St. Ben’s Fellowship Hall at St. Benjamin's Lutheran Church, 700 Kriders Cemetery Road, Westminster.

The menu includes regular and buckwheat pancakes, scrapple, home fried potatoes, sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy, applesauce and beverages and costs $8 for adults and $4 for children.

This breakfast will also be held on November 17 and December 15 at the same location.

For more information, call the church at 410-848-3311.

Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. To contact her call 443-293-7811 or email loisszymanski@hotmail.com.

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