Toast Of Harwich Returns To April Date

by William F. Galvin
Lisa Whalen of Dancing Spoons provides her culinary delights for attendees at the 2023 Toast of Harwich. FILE PHOTO Lisa Whalen of Dancing Spoons provides her culinary delights for attendees at the 2023 Toast of Harwich. FILE PHOTO

HARWICH – There will be a number of changes to the 21st annual Toast of Harwich, beginning with the event moving back to springtime. The Toast is scheduled for Saturday, April 20 at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club.

“We’re trying to change it up a little for the 21st year,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cyndi Williams.

The big news, Williams said, is that wine will be back. While local beer producers like Cape Cod Beer, Devil’s Purse and Hog Island will be participating, an agreement has been reached with Joseph Carr Wines of Napa Valley to showcase its products. Many wine aficionados are familiar with the company’s popular Josh Cellars label.

“That’s our exciting news,” said Williams.

But there are a number of other changes. Williams said the event will be tied closely to the chamber’s theme for the month of May, “Harwich is a Wonderland.” In May the chamber will be overseeing four performances of an adapted version of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” to be performed live at Monbleau Hall at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Harwich Port.

That theme will be carried over to the Toast in the form of signature libations served during the VIP segment of the event. Williams said instead of serving champagne from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., drinks will be served related to the characters in “Alice in Wonderland.” They include the Mad Hatter Martini and the Cheshire Cat Cocktail. Those drinks will be served only until 7 p.m when general admission begins.

There will be other libations available, including samples of Screwball Peanut Butter Whiskey, Williams said.

The plan this year is to provide better circulation for people in attendance. Both the garden terrace and the pavilion room will be accessible starting at 6 p.m., and food tables will be located in both rooms through the evening. Auction items will also be in both locations. It will provide people with the opportunity to move about, and the Rip It Ups playing in the garden terrace will draw more people to the dance floor, said Williams.

Many of the restaurants in town have committed to the Toast, she said. The change from a traditional Friday to a Saturday night should make it more convenient for weekend visitors to enjoy the event, she added. There will be both live and silent auctions, with silent auction items posted by email to attendees who have purchased tickets one week before the event.

As for the return to a spring Toast, Williams said it was moved to November last year because the Wequassett Resort was catching up on weddings postponed due to the pandemic. The November Toast was a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season, she said, but the tradition has been for a spring event, and the resort was able to accommodate the chamber on April 20.

“We have a wonderful partnership with the Wequassett Resort,” Williams said.

The Toast will start with a VIP gathering at 6 p.m. with tickets costing $120, and general admission beginning at 7 p.m. with tickets costing $85. The event runs until 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the Harwich Chamber of Commerce website.