‘Back To School’ In South Africa: Guests Become Kids At Gala Dinner

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When their invitations arrived looking like report cards, guests know that they were going to have to make the grade at the largest fundraiser for the Adopt-a-School Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa. The intent, says planner Jade Crystal Calvert of Vicky Crease Events, was to “…make everybody feel like a kid again.”

The 1,000-plus guests were encouraged to wear school uniforms and as they arrived, they were greeted by wait staff carrying trays of snacks, popcorn and slush cups. An old-fashioned arcade with carnival games kept them amused until the school bell rang and they were invited into the venue, a car dealership that had been transformed into an event space. Calvert needed to bring in all the amenities such as toilets, mobile kitchens, dance floor and air conditioning.

Whimsy was certainly part of the design, with a pink, purple and red color palette, and entertainers such as aerial artists, contortionists, comedians and musicians kept guests out late. And even though this was a “school night,” certainly no one was worried about curfew.

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