August 13, 2009
Martha, Melissa Jean, Michael, Kathy & Heidi
Key West moved from the ridiculous to the sublime for us this week as the rowdy antics of the bar wars gave way to the most magical evening of the summer and two wonderful parties this week which renewed our spirits and deepened our appreciation of this wonderful island community which we call home.
Jean Carper & Anja
The first party was a fundraising gala for our friend Anja Marais. Anja has been awarded the fabulous Mino Paper Art Residency in Japan, one of only four artists in the world this year and the party was held at the beautiful home of writer Jean Carper to raise funds to help support Anja’s trip. The party was wonderful as the community turned out in full force to help Anja get to Japan. Not unexpectedly, it was a huge success and Anja will be headed to Japan soon.
Joyce, Anja & Mike
Key West Botanical Garden
The next party was the wonderful gathering of the creative organized each year by the amazing Michael Shields, the third annual Midsummer’s Night Dream & Spectacle. The incredible party has outgrown its location at the home of Joyce Stahl where it had been held previously. Thankfully the newly expanded, beautiful Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden was available to host the spectacular gathering.
Gae & Kathy
Just about every creative person on the island for the summer including writers, playwrights, musicians, poets, artists was either performing or attending what has replaced the old Reef Relief Cayo Carnival as the party of the year in Key West. It was an amazing gathering that could be enjoyed by the entire family and featured four stages that featured all manner of entertainment running concurrently. None of the artists were paid a cent to perform, just appearing by the generosity of spirit and the desire to perform for friends and neighbors.
Gae, Michael, Todd & Bill
Held to coincide with the annual Perseid meteor shower, the night could not have been more perfect. The weather, while typically warm was actually not too oppressive and the entire place had a magical feel, helped in large measure by the many costumed fairies who flitted about the grounds. The food by Help Yourself restaurant was fantastic and the libations flowed freely.
It is hard to explain what made the party so spectacular, it is hard to pin down exactly, but the positive vibe was inescapable. More than the combined talents of Key West’s most interesting and creative people, it was the coming together of a wide mix of people to just have a good time. It really felt like a communal experience in the best sense of the word.
Michelle Meck, firedancer
To select highlights from the party would be almost impossible as there were so many wonderful performances. The main stage alone featured many of my favorite Key West perfomers including Raven Cooper, Queen Kathleen, Clayton Lopez, Suzanne Moore & Larry Baeder.
One of the cooler things involved Fire Dancing, which lit up the night with beautiful grace and spectacular exhibitions of fire dancing. We even got to see one of the Perseid meteors streak across the sky, just before the evening concluded with a performance by Key West Burlesque. A fitting wrap up for our new favorite Key West party. Thanks to Michael and everyone involved in a truly magical night.
Key West Burlesque