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Fete Ready to Get Groovy

Matthew Hersh

If last year's Fete had everyone spaced out with its intergalactic "Rocket Fete" theme, this year's annual country day fair will bring things to a more terrestrial realm: by groovin' out, this time to the sounds of 60s rock act The Lovin' Spoonful.

Looking to capture the the energy from a bygone Aquarian age, the 52nd Fete, organized by the Auxiliary of the University Medical Center at Princeton, will again take place at the as-yet-unnamed Princeton University football stadium.

The "Groovy Fete" theme was the brainchild of Fete co-chairs Brooke Rossi, 26, and Christine Calandra, 28, who are the youngest co-chairs in Fete history. When the actual Age of Aquarius was upon us, Ms. Rossi and Ms. Calandra had not been born.

The idea was to attract a younger, 18 to 35 demographic. "We weren't hitting a lot of that age group, so we wanted to do something to get people involved and something bright and colorful," said Christine Calandra in an interview.

But is this actually a throwback theme? That's all a matter of perspective. The 1967 Fete, which took place during the time to which this year's Fete is a tribute, took a decidedly more traditional approach: The Louis XIV Fete. Not exactly groovin'.

"We are dedicating this Fete to the young, and the young at heart," Ms. Calandra said.

So 38 years later the Fete is ready to get its groove on starting this Friday, June 10, when a preview of auction items will be on display at the auction tent at the stadium. That event, slated to take place between 6 and 8 p.m., will include food, entertainment, and children's games, and will be followed by the Groovy Fete Dinner Dance, at 8 p.m. at Jadwin Gymnasium, adjacent to the stadium. Reservations are required for that dance.

On Saturday, June 12, the annual 10K race and one-mile fun run will take place. The 10K, which changed its route last year to accommodate the change of venue to this side of Lake Carnegie, will take the same route through the Riverside district.

The annual Volvo Car Raffle, sponsored by Long Motor Co., will again take place, along with performances by America's Best Frisbee Dogs, Minikin the Clown, the Princeton Dance & Theater Studio, the Princeton Academy of Martial Arts, the Dance Corner II, and Jazzercise.

The festival will still feature the "Lane of Shops," the annual car raffle, dance, book sale, but this year, there will also be more of an emphasis on music, providing an atmosphere more aligned with an outdoor festival.

So with that in mind, Ms. Calandra and Ms. Rossi have booked the aforementioned Lovin' Spoonful for a 1 p.m. performance on Saturday, June 11.

Proceeds from the Fete will go toward the establishment of the Breast Health Center at UMCP, planned to open in spring 2006. Representatives from the center will be on hand to offer health advice.

For more information, visit www.princetonhcs.org/fete or call (609) 497-4069.

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