(Photo courtesy The Esplanade Association)
A moonlit gala on the Charles River Esplanade is set to bring a night of glamour to the park while raising money for its care and improvement.
The Esplanade Association’s Moon Dance Gala is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29, to celebrate and support the association’s recently unveiled Esplanade 2020, a longterm, preliminary plan that calls for broad renovations for the three-mile park.
Unveiled in February, the vision offers an ambitious plan to make improvements that range from the revitalization of the Eliot Memorial, new bike lanes, and the reopening of the Lee Pool. It seeks also large-scale projects, such as replacing the parking garage for the Museum of Science with a walkway along the river, and shifting the lanes of Storrow Drive to reclaim parkland.
The nonprofit group, which collaborates with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to raise money and care for the Esplanade, also offers free programs that will be supported by the gala.
The black-tie event is the organization’s largest fund-raiser and will offer dinner, dancing, and a live auction along the banks of the Charles River for the more than 400 people expected to attend, including Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
This year, the friends group will also honor The Friends of the Esplanade Playspace with the Charles Eliot Award. The group worked to fund and build a state-of-the-art play area by the Hatch Shell for older children visiting the park.