Garden Party brings out guests' creativity

Courtesy photo Geneva Blaha and Christian Kelly perform an act from the upcoming musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone."

OXFORD -- The Oxford Arts Alliance picked a perfect evening for its fifth annual Garden Party at Ware Presbyterian Village on Saturday evening. The storms were over and the temperature was in the 70s.

The event has gained the reputation for being a festive occasion that brings out the creativity in guests as they decorate their tables according to the assigned theme. This year the theme was “International.”

Arts Alliance President Jahan Sheikholeslami said he was delighted with this year’s event.

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“It was really successful. There were 200 people and 22 tables. ... We had an incredible variety of nationalities represented in the individual (table) settings,” he said.

He added that in addition to decorating tables, the groups also came in the native garb of the country their tables represented.

The judging of the table decorations was done by teenagers, and at the end of it the winners were first place, Muse; second place, Rotary; third place, Ware Presbyterian Village.

The winning table, created by Muse owner Shannon Hall, depicted a Paris Bistro, with all the accessories of a lovely French meal.

Not only was the weather great, Sheikholeslami said, but there were no mosquitoes.

He added that the food was provided by restaurants La Cecilia and Muse, and the faculty of the Alliance did the music.

In addition to the music and food, there was a silent auction and a preview performance by the Avon Grove Community Theater of its upcoming musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Sheikholeslami said he is especially appreciative to Ware Presbyterian Village for grooming the grounds ahead of time and setting up electrical outlets.