Event Date & Time

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Event Location

The Historic Stanley Theater
261 Genesee St, Utica, NY 13501
Get Directions

About Observer-Dispatch Bicentennial Gala

For the past 200 years, we have told the stories of the Mohawk Valley. We've told stories of celebration and those that are not. We've told the stories of our community and the people within it. This year, we are asking for your help to tell our story.

Save the date for the Observer-Dispatch's Bicentennial Gala -- a night of food, wine, and a special performance by the band Classified -- September 30th at the historic Stanley Theater located in downtown Utica.

We look forward to celebrating our community and its rich history with you in 2017.

The Observer-Dispatch Bicentennial Celebrations are sponsored by Bank of Utica.

Special Guest


25th Anniversary Performance
Classified has shared the stage with many world-renowned artists, including Earth, Wind and Fire, Benny Mardones, The Temptations, Rare Earth, KC and the Sunshine Band, Gap Mangione, Maynard Ferguson, The Commodores, The Pointer Sisters and our area's very own Ryan Quinn.

The band, Classified, was originally assembled in the early 90's. It was the concept of Freddie Faccioli, organist and vocalist from the legendary group Eric & the Chessmen, during the 1960's and leader of Ascension, the area's premier horn band throughout most of the 1970's that frequently played Four Acres in Marcy and Brothers lll in Utica.

Freddie had this idea that a band like Ascension could be formed again, performing the same type of great songs but presented with the technology and sophisticated sound systems in use today.

In addition to Freddie Faccioli and Greeley Ford on bass, the original Classified lineup also featured Ascension veteran Pat Putrello on trumpet & vocals, founders Larry Desiato on drums and vocals as well as Scott Rutledge on trumpet and vocals. Gary Colmey joined shortly thereafter on keyboards, vocals, and bari-sax. While it truly was "getting the band back together," it also featured many talented musicians from other top current musical acts in the area.

Their collective resume was so long, it looked like a "classified" ad, thus, the name was created and so was the mission of the band, EOE, that's "equal opportunity entertainment" for all!

Freddie isn't on stage with us anymore, but he's still our mentor and is always there in spirit.

What Maurice White is to Earth, Wind & Fire, Freddie Faccioli is to Classified.

Thank you, Silver Fox.


Premium Ticket - $45.00 includes full open bar from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and hors d'oeuvres, access to the silent auction, historical exhibits, and a musical performance from the band Classified. (Limited tickets available.)

Tickets can be purchased at the Stanley box office located in The Grand Foyer at The Stanley.

261 Genesee Street
Utica NY 13501

Box office hours are Monday - Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm.
Please call (315) 724-4000 to purchase your tickets.


This event is catered by Daniele's Banquet Specialists.

Imported Cheese & Crackers
Fresh Garden Vegetables & Dip
Hand Carved Fresh Fruit
Garlic Pizza
Tomato Pie

Bacon wrapped Scallops
Mini Beef Wellington
Chicken Francese Stick
Fig & Marcipone Phyllo purse
Shrimp Pot stickers

Premium liquors, Wine, Beer, Soda and Water


The theatre is located on the left 1.5 miles south of the New York State Thruway (I-90), exit 31, on Genesee Street between Court Street and Rebecca Street.

During the day, parking on Genesee Street is free for up to 90 minutes. Aside from parking on Genesee Street, there is ample parking within 5 blocks of the Stanley including a city parking lot next to the theatre.

There is a Car Park just south of The Stanley Theatre at the Radisson Hotel, which is a 2 block walk from the theatre. Parking rates range from $2 - $10.

Historical Exhibits

Sin City Exhibit - Take a look into the investigative reporting that led the Observer-Dispatch to win a Pulitzer in 1959 for Public Service.

Photojournalism Exhibit - Take a look back through photos that have told the stories of our community from the late 1800's to today.

Above the Fold Exhibit - Advertisements have always been a huge part of the newspaper industry and we are taking a look back into how advertisements have evolved throughout the years.

There will also be artifacts on display including the 1959 Pulitzer!


6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, historical exhibits and silent auction to benefit the Stanley Theater and Operation Sunshine.

7:30 p.m. - 8:00p.m.
Doors open to the theater for general seating.

8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Musical performance by the band Classified.

9:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

9:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Musical performance by the band Classified.

10:30 p.m.
Event concludes.