Forks and corks fly elegantly in annual West Allis event

Sept. 6, 2011

West Allis - An annual evening when West Allis steps out in elegance is coming Friday.

Although the West Allis Farmers Market has a rural flavor during the day, it will be transformed into a twinkling, elegant setting for the sixth annual Forks & Corks, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at 65th Street and National Avenue.

Sights, sounds and tastes

An artist created an elegant backdrop for the event, and many a cocktail dress will swish past flowers in the candlelight and tiny white lights above as attendees sample wine, beer and cuisince from at least 15 of the city's restaurants.

Nearly 60 wines and beers will be available to sample as much as "corkers" want, said Diane Brandt, executive director of the West Allis-West Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce, which holds the event as a fundraiser.

Not only that, but this year there will be four tables for beer sampling instead of one, along with the usual nine tables for wine, she said.

"Sometimes a wife or husband prefers beer, so we thought we would expand those offerings," Brandt said.

At least a couple of restaurants new to town will also be new to Forks & Corks. Both are Mexican restaurants - Mis Suenos and Get Them While They're Hot Tamales.

Also new this year will be live music by Marcell, mixing pop and favorite oldies with new tunes.

Supporting chamber initiatives

Proceeds will help support the Chamber of Commerce, which promotes businesses in the community, and its three outreach programs.

One is its education foundation that seeks to partner West Allis Central High School students with local manufacturers in a three-year program that prepares the students for jobs in the real world, Brandt said. Sixty students are in the program that was developed only last year.

In the chamber's military program, the chamber alerts schools to children who may have special needs because a parent is deployed in the military.

The third outreach effort is the Sisterhood Program, which also is operated in cooperation with the schools. It involves three-hour programs for mothers and their daughters aimed at helping the girls feel more self-assured.

Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door. Register online at or at the chamber office, 7447 W. Greenfield Ave. More information is available at (414) 302-9901.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

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