It's been a couple of days yet since the Bossanova Ballroom Bash II on Tuesday, Feb 8th 2011, and the Yelp Community is no doubt still buzzing about Portland Yelp's biggest event to date! From the copious amounts of drinks to the insane spread of local food to the salacious Elite entertainment, this year's bash was definitely one for the record books as close to 700 people came down to East Burnside to party!
When the doors opened at 6pm for the Yelp Elite and Media VIP Hour, there was already a line of eager faces led by Chris E, Chris L and their dashing, dolled-up dates. No sooner did the vintage-ballroom-wear-bedecked crowd mount the Bossanova Ballroom's entry stairway were they met with a bar loaded for bear with mini-Manhattans from Maker's Mark, frosty Total Domination and Renewale from Ninkasi Brewing, and fan favorite red and white blends from Bear Flag Wines! With two bars in effect (one on the main floor, and another upstairs in the mezzanine) and a special tasting area for Maker's Mark 46, the drinks were flowing like bathtub gin at a 1920's speakeasy! And for those more attuned to temperance, Honest Tea's tasty treats kept those lips lubricated.
With drinks in hand Yelpers made tracks over to the main floor to sample the wares from a slew of tasty food vendors including The Heathman Restaurant and Bar, Mayahuel Catering, Pine State Biscuits, Irving Street Kitchen and Salty's on the Columbia! From award-winning chowder to tasty biscuits to fantastic Mexican food, the variety was stunning and the food didn't stop flowing all night. And those who preferred to get their snack on dipped into the generous baskets of PopChips or snagged a KIND bar from the roving KIND bar guy.
Well fed and nicely abuzz, Portland's Elite were treated to a special surprise show by the ladies from the Rose City School of Burlesque! The fine Holly Dai, Tana The Tattooed Lady and Charlotte Truce got the temperature in the Ballroom up a few notches with their deliciously devlish dances. It would have taken a truckload of pasties to cover up the surprise on the faces of the awed Elites.
As the clock struck 7 pm, the Yelp crowds entered en-masse and enjoyed mixing and mingling and meeting folks for the first time as DJ Saltfeend kept the funky beats bumping along. The party people took advantage of the fun wide-angle excitement of the Fauxtobooth from Continuum Photography as they grabbed props and grouped up to get their photos taken. Once the line formed it didn't die down all night!
Of course food and drink are never enough for our fair Yelpers, right? We can't let anyone leave empty handed! At around 8 pm Yelpers were treated to a fantastic raffle that included prizes from the Happy Hour Guidebook, Zipcar ($100 credit and a year's membership!), Big Sip Oregon, Salty's and more! And two unique prizes, a light-up Last Supper and a Yelpicorn Triptych, were highly sought after as well. Needless to say, there were plenty of happy winners in the house.
There's no question that three hours of partying, playing pool, enjoying drinks, dancing to beats, snapping wacky fisheye photos and eating fantastic food was enough to tire anyone out. Thanks to the Jupiter Hotel, anyone who wanted to head next door to keep the party raging was invited over at a great discount! For the rest of the crowd, it was onward out into the wilds of inner-SE Portland to continue the debauchery.
All in all, this was not only the biggest Yelp event Portland has ever seen, but it was likely the most epic as well. Don't believe me? Check out the reviews (maybe add your own?) and Fauxtobooth photos!
Special thanks are due to Ronald; Brandon and Phil from Bossanova; Morgan from Ninkasi; Cody from Maker's Mark; Josh from Continuum; Heather from Bear Flag; the fine folks from Pine State, Irving Street Kitchen, Mayahuel Catering, Salty's and the Heathman Restaurant; the PopChips and KIND companies; Cindy from HH Guidebook, Becca from Zipcar, Shannon from Scene Marketing and the Jupiter (and Rindi too!); the sexy burlesque ladies; and all of my production crew: Vivek, Ben, Cyndi, Katy, Tiffany, Crystal, Ruggy, Monica, Abby, Alex, Wendy, Jessica and Brittany! And of course my gorgeous raffle assistant Hilary! And a huge thanks goes out to the Yelp Community, without whom none of this would be possible. You make it all worth while.
Until next time, SYOY!
--Don "Bashmaster" B.