LEWISTON — Masked mystery local celebrity fashionistas will walk the runway in a Bates Mill bedspread fasion show  –  think Scarlet O’Hara’s curtain dress — while a new Bates Mill-inspired brew from Baxter Brewery makes its debut, all to to benefit Museum L A on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the museum, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. 

The evening event is a fundraiser for the museum’s student/educational programs, exhibits, preservation and collections.

The fashion show will tie in a bit of Halloween fun, featuring local celebrities and business leaders clothed in Bates Mill bedspread fashion costumes, identities hidden behind masks. Attendees will try to figure out who these masked fashionistas are.  Attendees are also welcome to wear a costume or mask. Many surprises to will follow.

The celebration party will have elements for all to enjoy: food donated by area restaurants including Rails, DaVinci’s, Fishbones, Marche, Mother India, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Gritty’s. Desserts are being contributed by Grant’s Bakery, the Italian Bakery, Heartfelt Cookies, the Cupcakery, and other local bakeries.

A silent auction will feature such items as golf for four at the Boothbay Harbor Country Club, Fox Ridge golf, an overnight and golf at Sebasco Resort, a leather handbag, a custom bathing suit from Be-Bops, facials from Health Beauty Wellness Spa, Sweat Pea floral, Rainbow Bicycle, the Vault, Ad Club of Maine membership, interview with Matty B on The BIG Z, tennis lessons, cookbooks and supplies, night-out package with hotel, dinner and show tickets, Coast Botanical Garden passes, and so much more. Music and entertainment to be included.

Museum L-A, opening to the public in 2004, evolved from a single focus subject of the textile mills to a dedicated community and cultural museum, and is a showcase of various industries, workers and products. At the height of the mill work in Lewiston 3,000 worked in the Bates Mill Complex, the current location of both Museum L-A and Baxter Brewing Co.

Music will be provided by Mark Toolan, a Bourgeois Guitar craftsman and musician performing, of course, on a Bourgeois Guitar. For the past 16 years the company led by Dana Bourgeois, master luthier, and its craftsmen have had their workshop and showroom in the Continental Mill building. Bourgeois offers custom-designed guitars to many well-known musicians around the world and is considered one of the United States’ top acoustic guitar makers.

For more information or to buy tickets to the Bedspread Fashion Show and Party,  $35 in advance, or $40 at the door,  please call 333-3881. 

Museum L-A photo inspires
can art for Baxter’s new
all-year-porter Per Diem

LEWISTON  — An artistic rendering of a late 50s or early 60s iconic photograph showing the flow of mill workers leaving the Bates Mill Complex after one of the mill’s 10-to-12-hour shifts, became the inspiration for the can art on Baxter Brewing’s newest release, an all-year Porter called Per Diem.

In his blog about the development of new beers, Baxter president and founder, Luke Livingston, explained how Baxter settled on creating a year-round beer that would pay the mill’s heritage. 

Bates Mills  “serves as a beautiful and inspiring backdrop to the work we do at Baxter every day. So we were all in agreement that we needed our next year-round beer to pay homage to this great building and its workers,” Livingston said in his blog.

The Bates Mill photograph came into the picture when a Baxter employee visiting the museum spotted a rendering of the scene by local artist Ray Michaud. The timing was perfect: Baxter was working on an artistic concept for the can for its new porter which would honor the hardwork and spirit of the mill’s workers.

Rachel Desgrosseilliers recalls the many reflections from locals, about waiting and waiting for a family member, neighbor or friend after their shift, as it took upwards of an hour for all the workers to cross the small bridges over the canal from the mill. Her own Uncle Alphee worked 40 years as a weaver and is seen in the image with pipe in mouth. Several women visiting the museum last year, noted with surprise that their mother was in the forefront of the image – wearing a coat with big buttons “Mama, was so proud of that coat she made and we especially admired those huge buttons….”

At that time, the brew did not have a name. “We obviously wanted something relatable. Initially we landed on Mill Street—the address of the brewery and the street that separates half of the Bates buildings from the other—but quickly discovered the Mill St. Brewery in Toronto. So, for obvious reasons, that was out.

“It was shortly thereafter our own resident Bearded Beer Guy (BBG), John Bryant, came up with Per Diem Porter. We all felt that it spoke to the throngs of laborers that toiled away in the same mill we do today and undoubtedly would have loved a can of Per Diem as a shift beer after work.”

“Museum L-A is excited to be able to present Per Diem at their fundraiser on the 27th, said Jennifer Cartmell, director of community relations for Museum L-A. 

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