For years, the Aripeka Elks Lodge No. 2520 in Hudson has held Halloween parties for kids, talent shows and USO-style dances honoring veterans.
In the mid-1990s, those events were expanded to include three dinner shows, with entertainment brought in from around the United States and Canada and meals prepared and served by the Elks. Over the years, the Elks have brought in stars such as the 1950s and '60s hitmakers the Platters (Harbor Lights, Only You, The Great Pretender) and the Gaylords (Isle of Capri, Tell Me You're Mine) and groups giving tributes to Patsy Cline, the Beatles, the Supremes and Tony Bennett, as well as self-contained shows.
The dinner shows have grown in number — they're up to six shows a season now. And they've become so popular that it has become necessary for patrons to buy season tickets far in advance in order to get the best seats in the house.
The 2012-13 season has been announced and tickets are on sale at the Elks Lodge, 9135 Denton Ave., between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays or by calling the secretary's office at (727) 868-2994, ext. 14. Individual shows go for $32 prime seating, $30 regular seating. All six shows are $186 prime, and $174 regular.
"We appear to have some great dinner shows lined up," said Mary Ann Steffes, lodge publicity chairwoman. "Reservations are a must."
All the shows are on Saturdays, with dinner at 6 p.m. and show at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 13: Sounds of Soul, comprising six singers who can move. They've recorded with Capitol Records, Big Apple Records and R&S Records. They do a mix of Motown classics, including songs made famous by the Temptations, the Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, the Supremes and Lionel Richie. The group is known for its choreography, distinct harmonies and flashy, upscale stage persona, Steffes said.
Nov. 17: Singer Paul Tanner will do tributes to Elvis, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. Tanner was trained in classical music at the Juilliard School of Music. He also does impressions of Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Roger Miller, Nat King Cole, Julio Iglesias, Willie Nelson and others.
Dec. 8: The Christmas Show, featuring the Marlins — brothers Gary, Jack, Rick and Robert — who have been performing together for more than 25 years. They'll do traditional holiday songs such as Sleigh Ride, White Christmas, the Christmas Song, Jolly Ol' Saint Nicholas and more.
Jan. 26: Phil Dirt and his band will present Surf's Up, a musical tribute to the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, the Hondells and Ronny and the Daytonas. The set includes California Girl, Barbara Ann, Help Me Rhonda, Surfin' USA, Good Vibrations, I Get Around and more.
Feb. 2: Changes in Latitudes, a tribute to singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett. Singer Steve Kareta does Buffett's casual, storytelling style, including Margaritaville, Brown-Eyed Girl, Another Saturday Night and the Alan Jackson/Buffett hit It's Five O'Clock Somewhere.
March 9: Singer/musician Jimmy Travis brings his Las Vegas/Branson show to Hudson, doing original comedy and songs, as well as musical favorites. He has performed with Wynonna, the Righteous Brothers, Gregory Hines and Barbara Mandrell.