First came the 1940s WWII-Era Ball, which has been transporting revelers back to the time of big bands and brave boys in uniform since 2009. Then there was the Big Band Christmas Ball, a sentimental throwback to the holiday season that started in 2010. And now organizer and vintage enthusiast Khyentse James plans to roll out a brand-new party to wrap up the summer season.
Mark your datebooks for Saturday, September 1, when the inaugural Voodoo Island Tiki Exotica Ball, a Labor Day luau, is scheduled to make its debut.
"I've wanted to do a tiki-themed event for a while," James explains, "and the timing and the people came together last year." She did the place: She found a venue with a giant pool and the capacity to hold the party she envisioned.
"It's more than just the music -- it needs to be," James adds. "When I leave concerts, I always go home wanting to connect with people in a more substantial way, so that's what I'm trying to do with these parties: Bring the music and expose them to something they might not have known existed, but also allow them to experience it in a whole new way, through all five senses."
And this bash is bound to be a blowout: Unlike the 1940s Ball or the Christmas Ball, it'll kick off at 3 p.m. and run until 1 a.m.
"The party is starting a little earlier because there's a pool," James says. "We're going to have -- and some of it's crazy -- we're going to have a flaming tiki head and a volcano erupting into a pool. We're going to do a twelve-piece Afro-Cuban orchestra, which will incorporate some vibes and some bird calls; we'll do that in the main ballroom. We're going to have bamboo huts, palm trees, smoke-filled tikis, waterfalls, the pool will be set up as a lagoon, and then we'll have Hawaiian fire dancers as it gets dark. We'll serve some authentic Polynesian barbecues and flaming scorpion bowls, and hopefully some cool bartenders; we'll have a limbo contest, hula lessons and a vintage car show. There will be a lot going on."
As anyone who's gone to James's other bashes knows, that's quite the understatement.
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