by Kirby LindsayBonza Bash Productions has chosen to bring their Bonza Halloween Bash, a Masquerade Costume Ball, to Fremont Studios this year, on Saturday, October 30th starting at 8:30p (for those 21 and over.) Hosted by Dave McLauchlan and Brenton Webster, who have held a number of bonza bashes around the city, this party promises to have everything a successful Fremont celebration should – music, dancing, costumes, adult beverages and the Seafair Pirates!
Bonza Bash Beginnings
“We do several [parties] a year,” admitted McLauchlan. The Bonza Bash tradition began in 2005, when McLauchlan, Webster and a third friend – all originally from Australia (‘bonza’ means ‘great’ in Aussie slang) – decided to host their own birthday party. Although living now in an almost compulsively casual Seattle, they decided to make it ‘fancy dress,’ and ask that all attendees come in black tie.
The turnout for that first celebration, held in McLauchlan’s home, exceeded their expectations, even with the dress code. Today, “crowds have grown to 10,000 people,” for many of their celebrations, and they’ve continued to branch out. In 2009 they hosted a summer wine and food event at Fremont Studios in 2009 and, “we had a great experience with Scott [Jonas] and the Studios,” McLauchlan said. So they chose to try their popular Halloween extravaganza here, “when people want to see, and be seen, in costume,” he explained.
Dress Code Enforced
As a Masquerade Costume Ball, McLauchlan specified, guests will be expected to dress up – in black tie (or gown) with a mask, or costume. Cocktail dresses and suits will okay, and masks will on-sale at the door, but those in jeans and sneakers will be turned away at the door. “If you want to dress down,” McLauchlan pointed out, “there are plenty of places to go in Seattle.”
“In the history of the events we’ve done,” he acknowledged, “we’ve had, maybe, two times we’ve had to turn someone away.” Usually they have people attend, all decked out, who want to see what others have put together. “People do yearn to dress up,” he said. If anyone fears finding a tux, or other last minute help, Bonza Bash Productions has deals and suggestions listed on their website.
As for the costume contest, McLauchlan suggested that, “what trumps outrageousness is originality. It isn’t always the most expensive,” costume that wins. They also have a Best Mask category, that requires creativity.
Ultimately, McLauchlan admitted, they have had reservations about turning away those underdressed, but last year the celebration sold out. Over 300 people found themselves unable to get last minute tickets, and this year ticket sales already exceed projections.
For A Good Cause
The bash serves “also a fundraiser,” McLauchlan explained, “we are a not-just-for-profit company.” Their chosen charity will be a big draw – the Seafair Pirates.
With the Pirates on-hand, and running the costume contest (even adding a category – Best Pirate or Wench) McLauchlan admitted, “they will make it a fun event.” The Seafair Pirates do know how to party, “and they are just a tad crazy as well,” McLauchlan joked. Money raised will help replace the recently destroyed amphibious vehicle, the Moby Duck, that the Pirates use to visit hospitals, nursing homes and community events.
To join the fun, purchase tickets on-line, through Shindigg.com, and get ‘em now! A standard ticket costs $40, with a VIP package available for $125. Or, consider volunteering. “We do have some limited spots available,” McLauchlan pointed out, for people to help with check-in, coat check and possibly raffle ticket sales, and gain free entry. To volunteer, send an e-mail immediately to firstname.lastname@example.org
Still not convinced Bonza Bash Productions knows something about how to party? Check out their next event, what they call their “Diamond New Year’s Eve” – a dual party in Sydney, Australia and Seattle, Washington. Serious party animals can use a private jet to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, twice!
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.