Downtown Westfield Association Seats Guests at Indiana’s Longest Dinner Table For Dinner Party On Union
Photographer: Brandy Hornback
Hard to say if he went to bed hungry or if he dozed off in the midst of watching a design show on HGTV, but Dan Moyer woke up with an inspired idea for a fundraiser — to create Indiana’s longest dinner table.
The fundraiser was created because board members of the Downtown Westfield Association (DWA) wanted to endow a small project within the new Grand Junction Plaza, the big park in the center of Westfield. Moyer, owner of Moyer Fine Jewelers on the southside of Westfield and also a board member of the DWA, suggested building a table that was 412 feet long.
“We wanted to do something special — big, fancy and classy in scope,” Moyer says.
The event took place September 22 on Union Street in downtown Westfield. From the north gate to the south, it spanned close to 600 feet, almost the size of two football fields.
Part of the mission of the DWA, a 501(c)(3), is to enrich, encourage and support the downtown proper.
“We care about what goes on elsewhere, but we want to make sure that our focus is downtown,” says Teresa Skelton, the Executive Director of downtown Westfield, who has been involved with DWA since its launch in 2008. “With the Grand Junction implementation plan that was launched nearly 10 years back, this is something that’s pretty special to us. We want to endow something to be part of that.”
The board hired Land Collective, a landscape architecture and urban design studio based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that emphasizes socially-purposeful design strategies.
“They’re working with us to create a concept we can endow in the next couple of years — one that will fit in perfectly with their architectural design of the park and that we can afford to adapt,” Moyer says.
Besides the jaw-dropping, never-ending table, they also created several lounging areas with cocktail tables as well as a 3,000 sq. ft. dance floor. The evening started with Mayor Andy Cook addressing the crowd.
“He stated that this was a coming-out party for the new and exciting things that are going on in Westfield,” Skelton says.
The event, which attracted more than 300 people, included sponsors, a live auction, a silent auction, fabulous food and a great band. Many of the sponsorships came from long-time Westfield residents who have supported the town for years. In addition, developers, builders and engineering firms also donated and participated.
It was a great collaborative effort, from the local economies to the citizens who volunteered to the people in the city who banded together to make the event special. Volunteers decorated the tables and streets with flowers. Others worked with the city to hang lighting and block streets. In addition, a crew worked diligently until 4 a.m. to tear down.
“It was exciting to see the amount of community effort — all the people who are involved in Westfield and are a part of constructing what’s going to be basically a whole new downtown,” Moyer says. “When you take this big beautiful park that they’re building and then all the new infrastructure and buildings — from hospitals to apartments to office space that’s going to surround this park and the three-quarter-mile walking area all around — it’s going to be pretty cool.”
As far as pulling off the longest dinner table ever, it all came together nicely.
“We believe we put together the longest dining table in the history of Indiana, certainly the longest in Hamilton County,” says Skelton, noting that although this was the inaugural event, they plan to make it an annual historic event.
This year was all about amping up the community. They hope to take that excitement and energy and focus it into pulling off a bigger and better event every year going forward.
“I knew with a lot of hard work we could make this work, but it proved to be even better than what I was anticipating, and I was expecting quite a bit,” Skelton says. “We got a lot of great compliments on the evening and had people expressing that they’d like to be a bigger part of this event in the future so hopefully our committee will get bigger, too.”