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Glitz, Glitter & Gala's - Swanky Soirees are heading our way!

Glitz, Glitter & Gala's - Swanky Soirees are heading our way!

Dust off your tux and ball gowns because the fall gala's and festivals are quickly approaching. Whether it's The American Cancer Society, save the whales or our furry friends at the Humane Society there's a fundraiser in the near future to help the cause. The nice thing about fundraising gala's and benefits are the decor and how "over the top" we can go without breaking the bank.

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To start, every event needs a theme, if the charity is related to sports the decor may evolve around that sport, for instance the Dickie V Foundation hosted by Dick Vitale used autographed basketballs as a centerpiece for each table, the ballroom of the Ritz was decorated wonderfully and the many celebrities didn't hurt, but basketball was the theme to help raise money for a terrific cause.

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Polo under the Palms is a terrific event held under a tent each year at the Sarasota Polo grounds with a slightly more casual atmosphere. With lovely Tuscan lights strung throughout the ceiling and the tables are set with stunning shimmer crease linens and beautiful black padded chairs. While the horses are sleeping after a long day of polo the guests dine and dance throughout the night to support cancer research.

The American Cancer Society has the Cattle Baron Ball coming up this spring with beautiful Royal Blue pintuck table cloths and clear Chiavari chairs to compliment the look along with white draping along the walls of the venue the guests will be amazed.

Firefly Gala is always a beautiful event with dinner held under a large tent with crystal chandeliers and gobos on the ceiling along with a separate auction tent with some wonderful auction items. Last year’s gala had stunning Helix Overlays on the tables along with Silver satin underneath and crystal clear chairs with silver satin chair pads, hard to beat that beautiful look. After dinner guest get to walk to the large stage alongside the dining tent to see performances by bands none other than K.C & the Sunshine Band, Pat Benatar, Blondie, and the Go Go's - I wonder what this year will bring?

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Up close and personal with Pat Benatar at the Firefly Gala.

The difficult part to coordinating and decorating each party and event is that you can't use the same color, texture, decor as you did the year before, well you can but the guests will get bored with that after a while, so we need a new twist and a way to outdo last year’s event. Many annual galas are moved to a different location each year that way the guests who usually attend will be sure to come and see what their favorite charity has come up with this year.

Let’s not forget all the wine tastings coming this fall for all of our wine aficionados.The Florida Winefest has held their annual event in terrific locations over the years such as the Longboat Key Club, Ritz Carlton, Premier Sports Campus and currently The Van Wezel. One year hot air balloons were brought in and one could not only enjoy dinner underneath the tents but sip wine while high above in a hot air balloon! You don't see that at many charitable fundraisers.

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The Suncoast Rotary Club hosts a terrific wine festival each year at the Sarasota Polo grounds. There are many wines to choose from under multiple large tents along with some of the best local restaurants and caterers offering up some delicious food. This year the layout will change some with a seated progressive dinner paired with wines and prepared by some of Sarasota's best chefs - sounds wonderful! Once again by changing things up after a few years this will entice your guests to make sure they have a ticket for this year’s event. Year in and year out the Suncoast Wine Festival sells out so get your tickets early so you won’t be disappointed.

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Finally one of my favorite wine festivals - Forks & Corks held at the Ringling Museum courtyard by the Sarasota Originals. One can sip wine alongside the Statue of David and on the loggia while music plays in the background along with some great wine vendors serving some of the best wine and food provided by all the great Sarasota Originals restaurants. This event sells out in a matter of hours so make sure your ready when tickets go on sale.

October brings in all the Oktoberfest beer festivals for our beer drinking friends, so if wine is not your thing there will certainly be some great Oktoberfest beers flowing throughout the month. Lakewood Ranch Oktoberfest will move this year from Main Street to the Polo grounds due to such a large turnout each year, put this one on your calendar if you’re a fan of beer, certainly an event not to miss.

World of Beer hosts an Oktoberfest event each year along with one of the largest beer inventories in the state this should be a terrific event!

So get some well-deserved rest this summer, you’re going to need it with all of these great events coming to us this fall and whatever your favorite charity or event - enjoy!

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