Courtyard Transformed Into Tropical Paradise

Twice a year, the OCWS holds events for the membership of the Orange County Wine Society. This year, the spring event was held April 30 at The Courtyard on the OC Fairgrounds. The theme was “Jimmy Buffett Party”. Despite being a long way from Margaritaville, the 150+ members and guests came out to enjoy the beautiful afternoon, tremendous music and outstanding food.

The Cook’s Caucus prepared a sumptuous selection of delicious Cheeseburgers from Paradise, Parrot Legs, grilled pineapple, mango salsa, plantain chips, Caribbean-style beans and rice, quesadillas and Frito green salad. As if those island fares left any room for dessert, a delectable key lime sheet pie rounded out the platefuls. Aye, there was plenty to go around as many of the motley crew found themselves returning for additional helpings of the mouthwatering spread.

The Three 2 Sevens filled the afternoon with great music and lots of dance tunes and the dance floor was packed all afternoon. Despite refraining from donning coconut bras or grass skirts, the band serenaded their audience with Jimmy Buffett songs to keep with the theme of the party.

The wine servers were busy pouring California wines from the cellar. A margarita machine was rented to make strawberry Roseritas. The frozen concoctions were so delicious none of the 100 that were made had a chance of wasting away again in Margaritaville. Speaking of which, has anyone seen my lost shaker of salt?

As each guest entered The Courtyard, they were given a ticket for a chance to win a door prize. Three lucky people won a bottle of wine plus either a wine carrier or tropical “It’s 5:00 o’clock Somewhere” shirt.

Over $1,800 was raised for scholarships through the Wine Wall, run by Rochelle Randel, and via a silent auction and wine-related items donated by members Lynda Edwards, Jay and Betty Jo Newell, Richard Ward, Linda Flemins, Fran Gitsham, Glenn and Alice Polser and

items purchased by OCWS. The bidding was fierce but friendly and all lucky winners were delighted with their prizes.

The Courtyard was transformed into a tropical paradise worthy of Buffett himself. Some people claim there is a woman to blame but under the tremendous work of Betty Jo Newell, the individual table settings and centerpieces, hanging decorations and palm tree coolers for water and beer captured the perfect equatorial atmosphere. Additionally, many of the guests wore their brightest tropical shirts or parrots to fit the oceanic ambience.

Thank you to all the volunteers and attendees for making this party so much fun. As Jimmy Buffett says, “Life is a journey not measured in miles or years, but in experiences.” The afternoon spent with Jimmy as our inspiration was a truly enjoyable experience!

Alice Polser – Event Chair