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Updated: 09/15/2016 08:30:01AM

Forecast calls for night of ‘Moonlight, Martinis, Meatballs’

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SEBRING –– Highlands Little Theatre “cordially invites you to attend an uncommon evening of food, fund and fabulosity.” What is this interesting event? Why, it’s the much anticipated “Moonlight, Martinis and Meatballs,” set for Saturday, Sept. 17.

Tickets for the unique evening are $30 before Sept. 12 or $35 after. Limited tickets may be available at the door.

Each ticket includes a flight of three “signature martinis,” moongazing over Lake Jackson and meatball tasting and judging.

“The offerings this year are a ‘Blue Martini’, ‘Moon over Miami’ and the ‘Harvest Moontini’. One of them is made with vodka, one with gin and one is a desert drink,” said Vanessa Logsdon, HLT director. “You’ll just have to come to the event to find out which is which.”

Admission also gives guests one vote for the winner of the meatball cook-off. Additional votes will be for sale for $1. “Ballot box stuffing is encouraged,” said Logsdon.

This is a fundraiser event for HLT.

All “cheftainers” are invited to participate, whether professional or amateur. The star of the event is the “meatball”. Each contestant must provide 100 samples of their meatball creation. Amy Freeze, with “Gourmet Everyday” is bringing her team and their special meatballs to the event.

“This is my second year participating in the event,” said Freeze. “Last year we competed on a whim because I normally compete in dessert competitions. Making savory dishes with a live audience was a new experience. Meeting and talking with guest about meatballs is fun and different from the timed live cook-off chaos.”

Last year had a great turnout for the first year of this event in spite of the monsoon like rain that started later in the evening. The rain did not dampen the fun that went on inside the Drs. Thakkar Pavilion. Attendees had plenty of time to stargaze on the telescope and enjoy martinis in Anthony’s Lounge.

“We’ll be making a meatball version of a sandwich. We’re calling it the ‘Southern Gentleman’s Meatball’, said Freeze. “It’s a pork meatball served with a cherry-bourbon jam and good ole southern chow-chow.”

In addition to Freeze and her team, Alex Whitbeck with the Sebring Elks, Chef Kevin Heim with the Island View restaurant and Steve Kempe with the Avon Park Fire Department are some of the other contestants.

Island View is returning to defend its title as winner from last year.

“Carl Randall will again his telescope, weather permitting, for moongazing through the evening,” said Logsdon. The view across Lake Jackson is awesome from the patio of Anthony’s Lounge.

For information visit or call the box office at 863-382-2525.