Friday night, the American College of the Building Arts hosted its annual Red Party at the Old Charleston Jail in Downtown Charleston. The Red Party is a themed costume party that raises funds to benefit the college’s programs, as well as raise awareness for traditional building and artisan craftwork. The Charleston City Paper nominated the Red Party the best party of 2013, and this year’s Anarchy in Charleston-themed masquerade ball is sure to be top-rated among the year’s events.
The evening started as you pulled up to the majestically lit Old Charleston Jail. The façade glistened in pink lights. Women in ruffles and men in tailcoats greeted you as you approached the main gate. The faces of the men and women were hidden behind ornately decorated masks.
As you entered through the gate and walked down the dark hallways of the jail, you were warped through time to 18th Century France a al Versailles. The open-air courtyard sparkled with strings of lights, and chandeliers dangled from the trees. Around each corner were lavishly decorated tables spread with delectable French confections. Macaroons, doughnuts, croissants, made-to-order cake balls, brownies and miniature cupcakes were some of the delicious, locally made treats available.
As Marie Antoinette once said, “Let them eat cake.” And we ate plenty of it!
Tucked in the secluded, roped off area of the courtyard, almost out of sight, was the enchanting VIP area. Special guests lounged on vintage sofas while sipping their wine and eating the night’s exquisitely crafted hors d’oeuvres. If they so pleased, they could have their picture taken on a set comparable to Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette.
On the dance floor, we partied like royalty to the sounds of Charleston’s own Entropy Ensemble, a jazz-fusion band, and DJ C. Nile and Seth G, a duo that mixed modern-day hits with classical violin. Women dressed like Marie Antoinette, covered in rouge, lace, and ruffles, swung around the dance floor with their Louis XVI clad counterparts.
Finally, the evening came to a close. The special guests and patrons were reminded that although this is the last year for the Red Party at the Old Charleston Jail, the college will continue to thrive in a new location because of the workings of its loving community. The Red Party had a fantastic turn-out and could easily be one of Charleston’s best parties of 2014.