Last week we coordinated a lovely event for the Community Environmental Council called The Green Gala. The outdoor Plaza at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara was filled withÂ fairies, pixies, wood nymphs, and satyrs as guests entered a twinkling, enchanted forest glen. Over four hundred trees of all sizes abounded, dripping with vines that hung down over statues, flower filled fountains, Â moss-covered statuary and giant mushrooms.
Guests encountered incredible, elaborately costumed creatures of the woodlands as they enjoyed organic wines and magical green cocktails, accompanied by canapÃ©s inspired by the forested landscape. Music from the deep fern grotto featured the favorites of the fairyland nymphs, with a local trio playing music by Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia Band, Government Mule and more.
As twilight approached, a dinner of soft poached quails eggs in a frisee bird’s nest with shaved black truffles, roasted acorn squash soup with chantarelles served in a hollowed out squash, and more delicious culinary masterpieces were served in the forest clearing, ringed with hundreds of pine trees, boxwood, podecarpus and 20 foot redwood trees from Cal-Western Landscape, dramatically up-lit, with gobos, twinkle-lights, lanterns and hanging votives. Forest-inspired linens from La Tavola evoked the bark-laden tables of the fairies themselves. Statuary, fountains and faux bois dÃ©cor from Eye of the Day completed the scene. Just as guests were seated, a unicorn carrying the fairy queen was led into the dining room by her royal servant. She dismounted, greeted the guests and went to the balcony of the Rotunda to her birch branch throne where she presided over the event for the entire evening with her fairy servants.
The green theme of the evening provided every guest with an opportunity to be recognized for his or her own contributions to the environment. Whether guests drive a Prius, carpool, bring their own bags to the farmersâ€™ market, have solar panels on the roof, or help our planet in some other way, every effort was rewarded by a chance to win fabulous prizes. The event itself was very green with a spectacular 97% diversion rate (meaning that 97% of the waste produced by the event was diverted from the landfill to recycling or to a food waste composting facility.)
Renowned musical guest Kenny Loggins â€“ backed by the Santa Barbara High School Madrigals â€“ took the stage singing We Can Run, a fitting tribute to the wondrous planet that we call home. Later in the evening, guests danced under the stars to The Midnight Band with Kenny Loggins.
There also were two special â€˜aprÃ¨s partyâ€™ areas: the Green Star Coffee Cave, complete with a coffee/espresso bar featuring the organic fair-trade coffees of Green Star and the Forest Fairy Dessert Table, laden with beautiful crystal candies, cupcakes, cookies, mushroom chocolates and fairy-inspired confections, including the piece de resistance, chocolate tree stumps filled with chocolate mouse atop a bed of edible “dirt” and meringue mushrooms at the base!
It was an absolutely enchanted evening with an all star cast of vendors including Tricia Fountaine Design who did design and costuming, Green Star Coffee, Green Project Consultants who did our waste audit, Kathi King donor relations manager at the CEC, Kathy Ackley from Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort, Â Erin Feinblatt/Brooks Institute did all of theÂ photography, and of course our amazing group of fairies, satrys and wood nymphs selected by the talented Jess and Amy at Merryl Brown Events, wonderful makeup artists, trees from Cal Western Landscape and Wilson Landscape, statues from Eye of the Day Garden Design Center, linens from La Tavola, rentals from Classic Party Rentals with expert assistance and support from Nicole and Richard, all collateral materials by Tracy Chegwin of www.lazaropress.com , Music by Kenny Loggins singing with the SBHS Madrigals and Â The Midnight Band, a few of the Mobile Home Boys, and so many more amazing, creative and talented donors, volunteers and vendors. The feedback has been overwhelming and we are delighted to have been a part of this fun and creative project!
Check out a story about this event on NewsPress TV! Â Â Â NewsPress TV clip