At the end of this tour, Smirkus is having the party of the year – or rather, the party of the last 25 years. The gala is scheduled at the end of tour, when Smirkus performs the final shows at home in Greensboro, Vermont on August 18th and 19th, just a few minutes’ drive away from the Smirkus headquarters. Last night I spoke with Jeanne Halal, who is helping to plan the gala. She told me about the schedule of events, the dress code, and what it takes to make a celebration such as this a success.
EJ: What are you working on, lately?
JH: I am assisting in planning the 25th anniversary party for Smirkus, the alumni show and banquet. It’s on Monday, August 20th. That’s the alumni show and the banquet.
EJ: And what do you have to do to make sure that it can go off without a hitch?
JH: I am helping to organize volunteers for the weekend so people can be led to the different events that are being held. I also am now in charge of the RSVP list for who’s attending. We have a [silent] auction table so I’ve now been put on that as well, trying to find more donations and confirming what we have.
EJ: And how long have you been working on this project?
JH: I started when I came onto the tour in Brattleboro but the planning has been going on well before then. The alumni show and the banquet is by invitation only. It’s almost like a high school reunion. After 25 years of Circus Smirkus and the longevity it’s had, it will be a great time for people to meet friends again, re-connect, and share old stories.
EJ: Have you planned parties like this before?
JH: I have in the past. In the past two years, I’ve planned three weddings. It’s nice because in this case, there’s no bride so there’s no one person dictating – we all pitch in ideas on the creative end and talk about how we’d like to decorate or organize things like the tents or the tables.
EJ: What’s the dress code? What am I going to wear?
JH: It’s a circus alumni party. You can come as you like. It’s a “circus festive” dress code. Anything goes. You can wear the most outrageous costume you always wanted to but didn’t dare.
EJ: Will the there be clowns?
JH: A plethora. I don’t know if they’re going to come in their cars…
Evan Johnson, Communications Intern