Sunday, January 4, 2004

Holiday cocktail party: Lighthouse Youth Services

By Stephanie Creech Hackett
Enquirer contributor

About 350 guests spiffed up in black tie and ball gowns for the $150-a-ticket eighth annual Great American Artists Exhibition and Sale gala last weekend at the Cincinnati Club. Sixty artists - 45 of them were there - showed 200 works for sale while guests enjoyed cocktails, buffet and an early bird chance to buy art.

The show typically sells about $400,000 worth of art a year with a portion going to charity - Clovernook Home for the Blind and Visually Impaired this year. The show and sale closes today (noon to 4 p.m.).

The Mad Hatter's Ball, with roots dating back to the 1920s, is known as one of the most outrageous parties of the year.

Thrown by the Art Academy of Cincinnati Alumni Association, it requires either black tie or a costume. Most go in costume - artists and arts supporters like that stuff - and get creative in the extreme. Daring, too, if you're into a bit of skin. More than 500 paid $35-$100 with proceeds going to the Art Academy. Figures are expected later this week on the final take.

Guests, about 250, at Coney Island last weekend dressed "a little bit country" for Scarecrow Hoedown, opening night of the Cincinnati Horticultural Society's Fall Flower and Farm Fest. Organizers of the $40 a ticket deal for Shriners Hospital of Cincinnati also suggested everyone make a scarecrow to help crack the Guinness Book of Records for most scarecrows in one place. There are about 3,000 there now. Proceeds from the party and scarecrow sale are due late this week. Today is the show's last day (noon to 7 p.m. at Coney Island).

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