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A Celebration Straight Out of a Fairy Tale

The Miami Children's Museum celebrated the third anniversary of its Watson Island location with a night of merriment and wonder. Guests were encouraged to find their inner children by a museum full of reminders.

October 12, 2006, 12:26 PM EDT

C.O.M.E. Dance provided golden performers who entertained the crowd at the third annual gala.

Be a Kid Again gala, Fairy Tales Do Come True Miami Children's Museum Saturday, 09.30.06, 8 PM to 12 AM
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With last year's Around the World fund-raiser such a success, the Miami Children's Museum's (MCM) Jordan Kenna, director of marketing and public relations, and Caroline Schoen, the special events manager, knew it would be difficult to top. So they took a hint from the tried and true.

“Classic children's fairy tales ideally matched the themed sections the museum has to offer,” Kenna said. “Our Sea and Me section was perfect for the Little Mermaid, while Aladdin could appear in the Sand Castle area, and Peter Pan and Captain Hook could take over the section with the Carnival Cruise Lines' ship.” Gala chairwomen Marlén Pernetti and DJ Kerr and honorary chairwoman Constance Fernandez also helped to make this a night to remember.

Twenty First Century Events lit the outside of the museum in pink and provided a carriage where guests were photographed upon arrival. Favorite storybook characters Cinderella and Prince Charming and a trumpeter from Rhythm City Productions welcomed everyone. Other popular characters, including Belle and the Beast, Captain Hook, and the Genie from Aladdin, waited in the hallway to lead everyone to the fairy tale-decorated sections of the museum, which each featured food and waiters to match the environment, provided by Mena Catering.

In the Kidscape Village, the world of Beauty and the Beast reigned, with French-inspired decor such as flags, wine bottles, and baguettes. Guests dined on bouillabaisse soup served in scallop shells with crusty bread by beret-wearing servers. In the Sea and Me section, a food station offered chile-seasoned sea scallops, oysters Rockefeller, and popcorn shrimp while a steel drummer played to set the under sea mood; Mena's staff wore sailor hats. A rustic station inspired by Pinocchio featured artisan breads, cheeses, and deli platters. Robin Hood's carving station was adorned with foliage and cloth sacks overflowing with gold coins. There, guests dined on roast beef with bearnaise and horseradish sauces and herb-scented loin of pork with woodland wine sauce. Three oversize teddy bears decorated the Goldilocks station, which offered barbecue fare such as pulled pork on corn bread hush puppies and Southern-fried chicken with gravy.

The second floor was home to classics like Peter Pan, perfectly situated in the giant Carnival cruise ship section, where guests munched on childhood faves with grownup twists: herb foccaccia and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup in sake cups—served by pirates, of course. Aladdin took over the Sand Castle area, where waiters served Mediterranean-style treats such as baba ghanoush, hummus, assorted olives, and more as belly dancers from C.O.M.E. Dance entertained the crowd with their gyrating hips. Mulan also made an appearance upstairs. Her area featured bamboo plants, paper fans, and Mandarin-glazed chicken tossed with soba noodles, served in takeout containers, naturally.

Eventures Special Event Productions organized the silent auction, which garnered an impressive 139 items, including a children's chair signed by the entire Miami Heat team. All proceeds from the evening will help support ongoing educational programs at MCM.

Dessert options were abundant and included a chocolate fountain from the Schakolad Chocolate Factory and Mena's creations, such as a fruit flambé bar (an assortment of fruits with cognac and flavored liquors served over vanilla ice cream) plus almond biscotti, chocolate bread pudding served with white chocolate sauce, and more.

Twenty First Century Events turned one of the ballrooms into a South Beach nightclub using all-white furniture, draping, and acrylic bars lit in pink. Rhythm City Productions' DJ spun throughout the night, encouraging everyone to dance the night away—or at least until the clock struck midnight, providing a fairytale ending to a magical evening.

Stephanie Wilson

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