By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTOS Belvidere Republican
Guests for the Sock Hop Reunion evening were invited to dress the part of a 50s era high school student.


The Belvidere Historic Preservation Commission threw a mystery dinner event at the Boone County Museum of History to raise funds for their continuing work. This event once again took partygoers back to the past. This year the mystery took us back to a1950s class reunion.

100 tickets were available for each night of the event, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25 and 26 and despite the polar vortex freezing the area, most of the guests attended the event. Poodle skirts and saddle shoes grace a number of the women with others wearing pink capris and chewing gum. Some of the men wore their t-shirts and leather jackets. Some had a pack of cigarettes rolled up in their sleeve, as was the fad in those days.

Those who did not come in 50s costume (reunion attendees frequently do not wear the same clothes they wore in high school) found 50s era glasses, fake cigarette, and poodle patches on their table to help enhance the ambience of the evening.

Each guest who wished to actively participate was given an envelope containing rumors to be passed along; a Detective notepad and a pen to write down any clues tracked down and information obtained; a character name badge; and ‘Who Did It?’ Cards to write down solutions.

Belmont High School’s vice-principal and school secretary welcomed everyone to the reunion, apologizing because the principal had not shown up, and invited everyone to enjoy the dinner (catered by Pacemaker Countryside Markets). They later announced that the principal had been stabbed in the back and introduced a police detective, Officer Butch, who would be asking questions.

“Based on last year,” the evening’s mystery scriptwriter Andrew Pivoras said, “We wanted to give options for guests to be heavily involved, somewhat involved, or to enjoy the evening without an integral role. We wanted to have a sock hop at the museum. Anna co-wrote the play with me. She had the idea of a sock hop, and we took it from there.

“I do these mysteries with my class at Belvidere North High School. It is a way to introduce the kids to the background of the era and immerse them into the literature we read.”

The rumors abounding during the evening included past and present love affairs, threats, bullies, subterfuge, bribery, embezzlement, and extortion. You could discover that Daryl always used to carry a switchblade in school. You could also discover that the principal confiscated that switchblade, mounted it on his office wall, and…

For complete article, pick up the Jan. 31 Belvidere Republican.

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