LEWISTON — As the dance floor shook, Nick Knowlton reassured the party-goers.
"This is a parking garage and it's designed to move like this," said Knowlton, master of ceremonies at Saturday night's Dance Party Under the Stars. "Don't worry. You weigh a lot less than the cars that are normally here."
No one looked worried. They just kept dancing as the sun set over Auburn and Knowlton spun the records.
The party, a fundraiser for the Franco-American Heritage Center and Museum L-A, was a big hit. Museum L-A Executive Director Rachel Desgrosseilliers, one of the organizers, was gleeful. Organizers pre-sold 625 tickets and were expecting 750 people to attend the party on the top deck of the new Lincoln Street Parking Garage.
"I had people say it was like New York City," Desgrosseilliers said. "I say better than New York! I know some people were skeptical about a party like this here. But they're going to be sorry they missed it tomorrow morning."
Golf carts ferried the guests from the garage entrance to the table-filled top deck, with bar stations and food prepared by Lewiston Regional Technical Center's Green Ladle on either end and Knowlton and his sound system in the center. Knowlton later gave way to singer Carter Veilleux, who performed an anti-bullying song, "This is My Prayer."
Knowlton retook the stage with the L-A Lads to perform a medley of Beatles songs, and then with local favorites, the Rockin' Recons.
It was exactly as sponsor Dick Courtemanche, of Lewiston's Modern Woodman of America, imagined.
"I was on top of that garage and I saw what a view we have," he said. "It seemed a shame not to share it."
Courtemanche said he was inspired by a similar dance party in in Naples, Fla., last year.
"It seemed like a perfect way to bring people together," he said.
The party was as much about downtown views and the Twin Cities growth as it was about dancing for the sponsors. Desgrosseilliers lined the side of the garage with historic photographs of the area, putting them where spectators could compare the way the area looked with the way it appears today.
But most of the people just came to celebrate with friends under a beautiful summer night sky.
"This is a perfect spot for this," said Flo Roux of Central Avenue. "It's very nice, and I think it's great for L-A."