On Saturday, March 2, 2019, the Bellamy Mansion Museum held its first Mardi Gras Casino Night. With a crowd of over 78 guests in addition to the staff and reporters from Stars News and Salt Magazine, the historic house was brimming with merriment and mirth. The house and its courtyard were themed for the occasion: lights of purple and green illuminated the night, string lights and a warm fire pit transformed the courtyard into a cozy square, each room of the first and second floors of the house were fitted with entertainment, and beads were strung everywhere. The Bellamy had pulled out all the stops.
Each ticket to the event included game chips, raffle tickets, complimentary drink tickets, food, beads, and a night of fun. There were casino games from roulette and blackjack to poker and craps, live music by Sylvia Ritchie, hors d’oeuvres, signature cocktails, bourbon tasting courtesy of Heaven Hill, exciting raffle prizes, and a wine pull. The raffle included prizes such as tickets to Orlando Seaworld and Busch Gardens, a staycation at a downtown B&B with Rx dinner, a $200 bottle of bourbon courtesy of Heaven Hill, and so much more.
For the event, the Bellamy had food catered by Diamond Food Enterprises. The staff of the community-oriented catering company was cordial and courteous throughout the evening, attending to the culinary needs of the guests and serving flavorful hors d’oeuvres. Served were dishes like jambalaya, pasta alfredo, cocktail shrimp, banana rum pudding, and sausage bites.
The signature cocktail of the evening, provided by one of the event’s sponsors, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, was The Big Easy—a transformative drink made with Tito’s vodka, key lime juice, Sprite, and “magic blue ice” made with butterfly pea flower. When added to the drink, the blue ice causes the drink to gradually change colors from clear to purple. This is because the butterfly pea flower reacts to the pH level of the liquid it comes in contact with, such as turning purple in the presence of the citric acid found in key lime juice and Sprite. The drink was a popular choice among the guests for its magical quality and taste.
The night was enjoyable even for the Bellamy staff working the event. For the first part of the night, I worked the registration table with the Event Coordinator, Carolyn Gonzalez. I got to see every guest that arrived in their lovely festive attire. The catering staff graciously offered us hors d’oeuvres while we worked, and the food tasted even better than it looked. Once all the guests were checked in, I wandered through the house to watch the guests’ revelry, try the different foods available, and help wherever needed. Although I was there to help host the event, I could not help but fall under the spell of Mardi Gras, enjoying the event throughout the evening.
The proceeds from the event went towards the Bellamy Museum’s free community programming, such as lectures, workshops, art exhibits, Family Fun Day, Nights of Lights, and scholarships to the museum summer camp. As a night of great fun that contributed to programs that benefit the Wilmington community, it was certainly not an event to be missed.
Disclaimer: Casino gaming tables were provided for entertainment purposes only. No prizes were awarded for table winnings.