While the look and feel of the gala changes from year to year, the evening’s schedule retained its sense of tradition, as more than 400 of the 600 guests began their evening around 6:30 p.m. at one of 30 residences of ambassadors across town for dinner. The remainder of the guests dined in one of several rooms at the White-Meyer House before everyone came together at 9:30 p.m. for dessert and dancing.
As with all the events he produces, Stark said he stuck with a simple goal—“Parties should be fun”—when he began planning. “Last year, we radically changed the event with the goal of creating a true after-party that people look forward to coming to after dinner, and we really wanted to build upon that,” he said. Last year's changes came in the form of large outdoor tent with a live DJ and a whimsical Alice in Wonderland design. For 2010, the tent remained and Stark took inspiration from the 50th anniversary, decking out the tables with golden hues and the rest of historic space with a host of black-and-white trompe l’oeil-themed chandeliers, candelabras, flowers, and printed backgrounds.
After dining on a variety of sweets created by Design Cuisine Caterers, the majority of guests made their way to the dance floor in the tent, where DJ Patrick Mondjo spun hits by artists ranging from Sinatra to Usher.