An annual fundraiser for Longview’s children’s museum is being challenged this year by an anonymous donor to raise $100,000.

If it succeeds, that donor will match the funds, seeing even more money go into the city’s only hands-on children’s science museum, said Niki Groce, chair of this year’s Bourbon & Bowties.

Bourbon & Bowties, which annually raises funds for Longview World of Wonders, is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center, 100 Grand Blvd. in Longview. Attire for the evening is cocktail casual. Bowties, of course, are encouraged.

The event, now in its fourth year, continues to grow annually with more master distillers attending. A highlight of the event is the interactive Bourbon Trail.

“Bourbon & Bowties is the only place in the world you can experience an interactive Kentucky Bourbon Trail and a Texas Bourbon Trail complete with master distillers, owners and company representatives to tell you first-hand about the blood, sweat and tears that goes into each bottle of their product,” said Cole Tomberlain, who is heading up the Bourbon Trail.

Attendees this year will have the opportunity to hear about Master Distiller Donnis Todd and taste a bourbon “as bold as World War II torpedo pilot Jimmy Hines,” Tomberlain said.

Bourbon & Bowties will feature a full bourbon bar complete with cinnamon, cherries, mint, fresh fruit, bacon and other garnishes that Tomberlain said allow the bartenders to prepare “the most delicious drinks with unparalleled ingredients.”

And, this year, the organization was selected to receive a bottle of O.F. C. Bourbon to be sold at the event. Groce said they hope to raise at least $10,000 from the bottle for LongviewWOW Hands-on Discovery Center.

O.F.C. Bourbon is a rare bourbon released by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky. According to the distillery, the rare bourbon honors the distillery, which was christened in 1870 by Col. E.H. Taylor Jr.

O.F.C. Bourbon features a 1980 label that, according to the distillery, memorializes the U.S. Ice Hockey team’s victory over the Soviet Union, along with pop culture happenings and Ronald Reagan’s presidential election.

“Bourbon & Bowties 2017 will provide something for everyone from the novice to the bourbon enthusiast."

“Each hand-cut crystal bottle is vintage dated according to the specific year in which the bourbon was distilled,” according to Buffalo Trace Distillery. “The bottle is then given one last polish for the ultimate premium presentation, while a cork stopper with a copper top adorns the top of the bottle to finish out this stunning bottle.”

Groce said organizers are hopeful to have more than 700 people attend this year’s event, which outgrew previous venues and is moving to Maude Cobb.

The event is for those 21 and older only. Tickets are $100 per person and guests are asked to RSVP by Jan. 30. In addition to the Bourbon Trail, there will be silent and live auctions, entertainment by The Pictures and catering provided by Perfect Catering.

Proceeds benefit LongviewWOW’s operating budget. LongviewWOW started up in 2009 with a vision of opening a hands-on children’s science museum in Longview.

The museum has since opened at 112 E. Tyler St. in downtown Longview, where it offers a variety of children’s exhibits and special events.

Bourbon & Bowties organizers encourage everyone to come out to the event.

“Bourbon & Bowties 2017 will provide something for everyone from the novice to the bourbon enthusiast,” Tomberlain said.

Tickets can be purchased at www.longviewwow.org. Reservations also can be made by calling Groce at (903) 736-9531 or Elaine Campbell at (903) 452-7794.

If you go

Bourbon & Bowties 2017

  • 7 p.m. Feb. 4
  • Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center
  • 100 Grand Blvd., Longview
  • Cocktail casual. Bowties encouraged.
  • 21 and older only.
  • $100 per person• RSVP by Jan. 30
  • www.longviewwow.org • (903) 736-9531 • (903) 452-7794