I’m having a really hard time trying to find the words to describe this event. It was absolutely gorgeous! Breathtaking, stunning, beautiful, fun, amazing… seriously, not just being cliche here.
It’s been described as a pop up fancy dinner. Part flash mob. Part picnic. Part fancy revelry. And when it all comes together, absolutely breathtaking! It’s a semi exclusive event. Word of mouth and friends of friends basically. You and your friends meet up with a smaller group of about 50 people.
Then these groups meet up with 5 more groups and you’re transported to the secret location for that year. That’s when 1100 people this year spilled out of buses or from various downtown points and set up tables in long rows. Then proceeded to their picnic spread. There is an option to purchase baskets made by places like Orchids and Eat Well Celebrations. From what i saw they were huge! Had plenty to feed 2 and then pass some around. These will cost you though, anywhere from $60-$100.
You will be lucky to get into the event itself. It’s premise is friends coming together, Therefore it’s a friends of friends type gathering. Those that went this year, will be given a spot next year, and they can invite one other couple. Then if there is room, it will go to a wait list. The thing that seems to stop people is the fact that you do have to pay $24 a person, plus a one time $5 membership fee, to allow you to attend the events in the future. The fee goes towards venue rental, security, entertainment, and most importantly, the liquor license that allows us to consume wine and Champagne in a public area.
The most difficult yet kind of fun part, is finding everything you’ll need. You’re to bring a small square table (under 32×32 inches) 2 white chairs, a table cloth, nice place settings, glasses, a table setting/decorations, and a picnic basket with your dinner in it, as well as your drinks for the evening. You also are to dress all in white. They do have really nice contests though. They have a best table one, and a most elegant/creatively dresses group (of 2-4 couples); both offer a dinner for 6 cooked by chefs, such as Jean Robert of JR’s Table. And then there is the most elegantly/creatively dressed couple; this prize is a trip with airfare to Antigua!
This year being in Lytle park was gorgeous! Queen City tower, and the Taft museum flanking us, lights in the trees, darn near everyone with candles. You arrive in a huge group and get set up quickly. at about 7:15 napkins are waved and you start on your 3 courses. Or whatever else you’ve prepared. I used this as an excuse to have a little fun and indulge myself. I saw meat and cheese and fruit trays, dips and spreads and salads. Then you move on to your main course and lastly dessert. Everyone was friendly, and I saw most tables sharing with their neighbors, who most hadn’t met before this evening. It was a great time, and you could take your time and just enjoy it.
Then at around 9 Sparklers were lit by everyone and balloons were released. For whatever reason, this was one of the highlights of the evening. I cant put into words how beautiful it was at that moment.
Then it was time to party. Champagne flowed freely, the dj was playing awesome music on the make shift dance floor and Framester was taking awesome photo booth shots! It was just so much fun, half the people didn’t want to leave at 11. But sadly it was time to go as magically and quickly as we arrived. I already can’t wait til next year!
If you missed it this year, I’m sorry you missed a truly magical event. There was no pretension, no fighting, just fun. Everyone from 25-80 was enjoying themselves at both dinner and the party. It was a spectacular time! hopefully, you know someone who’s willing to sign you up with them next year, so you can experience it for yourself. It’s really one of those kinds of events. But one that mere words still can not put into place.
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Edit: I’ve found a few more pics to share, and also I’ll post other places that are blogging about the evening!