Esplanade Association’s Moondance Gala Set for Sept. 23

The Esplanade Association (EA) has announced its highly anticipated annual event, the Moondance Gala, an evening of elegance, celebration, and heartfelt appreciation for downtown Boston’s iconic state park, the Charles River Esplanade. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Charles River and the city lights, the Moondance Gala will again take place in a grand tent on the Esplanade’s Fiedler Field on Saturday, Sept. 23.

This year’s Moondance Gala holds a special significance as the Esplanade Association will honor its co-founder Jeryl Oristaglio with the Charles Eliot Award, conferred only on special occasions to those who have made significant contributions to the Esplanade or to the care and preservation of green space. Since the organization’s inception in 2001, Jeryl has been a driving force dedicated to nurturing the park’s growth and enriching the lives of the broad community it serves. Her visionary leadership has propelled the association’s initiatives, including the launch of the Moondance Gala itself, which she conceived to provide a memorable night in the park with supporters who share her love for the Esplanade.

“We are immensely proud to celebrate Jeryl’s profound impact on the Charles River Esplanade to all of those who visit the park from across the region and the world,” Jen Mergel, James and Audrey Foster Executive Director of the Esplanade Association, said in a press release. “Her two decades of commitment have helped further EA’s mission to work in partnership with state partners and local organizations to enhance and revitalize the Esplanade. Her vision, to not only sustain this green space, but to build community in the park by providing educational, cultural, and recreational programs for everyone, continues to ground our work in what exemplifies Jeryl most: care. We cannot wait to express our appreciation for her ongoing legacy.”

During this celebratory evening more information will be shared about Charlesbank Landing on the Esplanade, the newest, and largest, project undertaken in the history of EA. This welcoming year-round facility and landscape will bring to life so much of what Oristaglio envisioned for the park and the people of Boston when she began the organization over 20 years ago.

The gala will feature cocktails, a delicious dinner, a captivating presentation and an auction to raise funds in support of EA’s park improvements and free programs. The night will conclude with dessert and dancing at Moondance After Dark. This unique after party will be in the grand tent as well, adding to the evening’s festivities for everyone. For more information and tickets for Moondance After Dark, visit

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