Howl at the Moon offers local bluegrass, dining

by Aimee Sung | 2/12/14 4:08pm

A full moon drew 400 people to the Hanover Country Club golf course on Friday Feb. 13, 2005. The first Howl at the Moon dinner, organized by Dartmouth’s Outdoor Rentals Program and the Hanover Recreation Department, was not a gathering of werewolves, but an evening of food and music for local residents and students.

This year’s Howl at the Moon event will be held Saturday on the snowy golf course slopes, lit by torches and fire pits. It will feature an informal dinner from six local restaurants. Attendees can walk around, sampling finger food from local merchants.

Following dinner, Reckless Breakfast, an Upper Valley bluegrass band, will perform inside the Dartmouth Outing Club house on Occom Pond.

Known for energetic covers of pop songs, Reckless Breakfast, which was founded in 2009, frequently plays concerts at the Hanover Farmer’s Market and Collis Center.

Outdoor operations assistant Michael Silverman, who helped organize the event, said the event attempts to cure feelings of cabin fever.

“Everyone huddles indoors for the wintertime, so the idea was to get the students and the community out to enjoy a winter evening,” he said.

Gerben Scherpbier ’14, who plans to work at the event after volunteering for it the past two years, said Howl at the Moon is one of his favorite events of winter.

“I think the best part is that it’s open to the community, Dartmouth students and Hanover residents alike, and they get together to enjoy a night of food and music,” he said.

The event takes place in February each year and is scheduled to correspond with the month’s full moon. Howl at the Moon averages around 700 participants, having grown in popularity from when organizers of the first dinner expected only 50 attendees.

This year, profits from the event will go to the Dartmouth Rentals Program to purchase new equipment. Previously, profits were split between the Hanover Recreation Department and Dartmouth Rental Program, but as the recreation department could not court volunteers in recent years, the DOC took over organizing the event.

Attendees may also bring items such as food, clothing or personal hygienic products to donate to local charities like the Upper Valley Haven.

In the future, Silverman hopes more Dartmouth students, especially DOC members, will want to help organize or volunteer at the event.

Ariana Sopher ’14, who has volunteered at the event in the past, said she enjoyed how it united the community.

Attendees aged 6 and older must purchase $10 tickets in advance.