What’s the best reason to come to Fairyland’s “Beauties & Beasts” Gala fundraiser on June 2?
- To experience Oakland’s legendary storybook park after hours (adults only!).
- To sample food and drink from the East Bay’s best restaurants, wineries and breweries.
- Costumes, costumes, costumes ... and plenty of storybook settings for selfies.
- To dance under the stars to live music.
- To bid on fabulous items in live and silent auctions.
- . To support a great Oakland institution that introduces young children to stories and imaginative play.
It’s a trick question, of course. The answer is “All of the above” – and this is my invitation to you to celebrate the beauty and beastliness that lies within each of us.
Fairyland’s Gala is our biggest fundraiser of the year – we couldn’t keep the Fairy Gates open, or support our vital community-outreach programs, without it.
|Oswald the Bubble Elf presides over an array of hors d'oeuvres at last year's Gala.|
But Gala is more than that. It’s also the best party in Oakland, right here on the shores of Lake Merritt (with free valet parking).
Here’s just a sample of what we have in store for you on June 2:
- Pork-belly tacos from Chop Bar
- Black squid in paella with calamari and mussels from Venga Paella
- Ramen from Ozumo
- Gulf-style seafood salad from Hutch Bar & Kitchen
- Chicken drumettes and mac and cheese from the Home of Chicken and Waffles
And Fentons Creamery will offer ... well, you know.
|Prepping the feast at the 2015 Gala.|
(Last year the oysters from Ron and Sally and the sea-salt-butter Stroop-waffles from The Stroopie Gourmet were huge hits, and they’ll be back!)
We’ll also have beer from Lagunitas and Pacific Coast Brewing, wine from Dashe Cellars and Rock Wall Wine Company and even Sambazon energy drinks to get your second wind going.
Featured cocktails will include St.George’s Spirits’ Cosmo-Naught – California citrus, lime juice and cranberry-honey simple syrup – representing the Beauty; and Bruto and Bubbles –Bruto Americano and Q Club on the rocks – representing the Beast.
|Costumed partygoers at last year's Gala.|
And there’s more:
- Live music by the incomparable Mal Sharpe and his Big Money in Jazz band. (Wear your dancing shoes!)
- Your friends and neighbors in deep disguise as Beauties or Beasts ... or maybe beastly beauties! Costumes aren’t required, though, and we’ll give everyone a prop at the door.
- A silent auction featuring jewelry, wine, collectibles, and exotic experiences.
- An exciting live auction featuring travel packages, original art, and lunch with a Pulitzer Prize–winning author.
It will all take place amid Fairyland’s twinkling fairy lights and fanciful storybook sets.
Our staff has been hard at work painting, polishing, planting, and prettying up our park. You’ll be dazzled!
To buy your tickets or place a bid in our online auction (which closes May 27 at 8 p.m.), go to the Fairyland web site.
-- C.J. Hirschfield
C.J. Hirschfield has served for 14 years as executive director of Children’s Fairyland, where she is charged with the overall operation of the nation’s first storybook theme park.