1. Having a “Ball”!

    October 1, 2011 by Mindy Wood

    Halloween is the one time of year Americans have a great excuse for dressing up in their favorite costumes. Other countries have scads of parties where they get to dress up (reenactments and seasonal parties) but we’re pretty much restricted to Halloween. So why not have a “ball” this year and change things up! For this type of great party, there are two versions: the adults only and kid friendly.

    For the Adults: When choosing your theme, of course, you have to consider your guest list. Try not to be too restrictive but if you’re going for a ball with masks and dancing, make sure there are as few rules as possible regarding costume period and design. Don’t restrict it to one decade or century (can you imagine demanding all your guests show up in 17th century attire?). The more flexible you are, the more people will want to show up. If a period theme is what you want, let your guests pick the decade or century they want to depict. As to rules you might insist everyone wear a mask until the unveiling or only while on the dance floor.

    Have categories for the winning costume like “most frightful” for those making a scary appearance and “most delightful” for those who went all out for an authentic period look, characterization, or something sexy. Tie in the décor with both modern and vintage accents like cobwebs, dark colored candelabras, gazing balls, drippy candles, gargoyles, black lace clad skeletons, and carved pumpkins.

    For music play a wide variety but be sure your DJ is prepared to play soundtracks from scary movies and classic flicks. Let your guest pick the songs they want to hear but be sure to have selections ready to signal things like a contest, door prizes, specific dances, etc.

    For the Kiddos: While a Halloween ball might be wildly appealing to your little pink princesses make sure you have plenty of guy stuff for the young ghouls too. Forgo the masks and set up stations for the kids to do activities that engage their senses. Hands in gooey green slime, finding “treats” in a box of gray colored beads or small rocks, or guessing games are great ways to have fun. While the ages of your guests will determine how scary you can make the over all experience, you can’t go wrong with crazy carnival games with some grooving music in between. You might be surprised how easy it is to line up the kids and teach them very simple dance steps. Award a prizes to the best “couples” on the dance floor but be sure everyone who participates gets more candy in their bags.

    For backdrop music select familiar soundtracks to movies like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Superman or favorite game themes like Lego Batman and Indiana Jones to create epic suspense. For your dances, go for wacky classics like “Monster Mash”, the Adams Family theme song, “Ghostbusters”, “I put a spell on you” and “Martian Hop.”

    Consider your guests first and the theme for your party will emerge. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

    By Mindy Wood

  2. Express Your Heart’s Design!

    August 1, 2011 by Jo Ann Smith

    Ever reached a point in your life where you found yourself wanting to do something totally different for a career? Sure, corporate America can be worth the long hours as you climb the ladder of success but it isn’t exactly fun is it? When I reached my crossroads, I decided I wanted my path to success to be a lot more fun!

    I’m Jo Ann Smith, owner of Your HeART’s Design, a paint-your-own pottery and glass fusion art studio. As a long time admirer of women entrepreneurs, I paid attention to how my mother in law built the most respected nursing home facility in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She and my mother both encouraged me to start a business of my own. Even though I was no artist, I soon discovered that anyone could quickly learn to enjoy pottery and glass fusion.

    An historic building nestled in the heart of downtown Shawnee’s art district houses dozens of ceramic pieces, my kiln for glass projects and spacious party room. Guests select a bisque ceramic piece of their choice, paint to their heart’s content and then we glaze and fire. The glass fusion has been wildly popular, proving to be easier than it looks and even more fun! Slumped wine bottles and pre-cut jewelry pieces, night-lights, and more make the perfect gift with that personal touch.

    To my surprise, parties have been one of the strongest demands in my business. I opened in June and quickly filled up my schedule with small and large groups all summer. We offer pre-planned parties and events or you can design your own party according to a theme. “Tea for Two” is a fun lunch party where you paint your own teapot or teacups and enjoy a light lunch with tea. “Ladies Night” is perfect for bridal parties or women’s groups. Pick and paint your own platter and we provide light appetizers and favorite beverages. Even men enjoy our “Tailgate with Your Date” party that features football themed party platters and dishes with appetizers, mixers and a corkscrew! Secretly, the men have a blast getting their hands in “guy-friendly” art. We also offer a “pottery to go” party where we come to the location of your choice, set up the supplies and instructions and let you do the rest, or we can stay and provide hands on instruction.

    Your HeART’S Design is a great place to express your own creativity and provides unique gifts for party favors or a place to host your next get together. We hope to see you enjoy all that our studio has to offer!

    Your HeART’S Design
    Owner: Jo Ann Smith
    107 N Union Street
    Shawnee, OK 74801

  3. The Quest for Fun!

    March 4, 2011 by Kevin Ragan

    You’ve heard the saying, “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” In my career, it’s my job to make sure people of all ages have fun! I’m Kevin Ragan and as general manager of Laser Quest, I work hard and play hard.

    Thrill seekers from seven to seventy two storm the three towers of our 8,000 square foot laser tag facility. Birthday parties for young and old, team building programs for corporate groups, and even leagues who make this their sport keep coming back for more fun.

    p>The name of the game is a combination of hide and seek with tag. Gamers strap on an eight to ten pound brightly lit vest and use a laser that looks kind of like a hair dryer. Every time you tag your opponent’s vest, you score ten points. If you get tagged, your vest vibrates for five seconds and you lose up to five points. The player with the most points wins. Players wind their way through a multilevel maze with ramps simple enough for children but provides enough obstacles for a challenge. We also accommodate everyone, no matter what physical limitations they may have. We’ve had teams of people in wheelchairs and teams of people with special needs like down syndrome. We make sure everyone gets a shot at the game!


    Perfect for all types of parties or day camp outings, you can play with your group or arrive with a couple of friends anytime to play with complete strangers in a free for all. Each game can accommodate up to 38 players and lasts an exhilarating 20 minutes. As well as a favorite for kids’ birthday parties, we find it’s popular for adults too. The oldest birthday girl we’ve had was seventy-two and she did really well! You can bring in food or take advantage of a nearby Pizza Hut’s discounts for Laser Quest parties.

    We also offer a team building program designed by a professional consultant. This after hours session is for the office crowd who needs to lighten up and adopt skills they can take back to work. A dynamic four hour program called “Quest for Success”, they learn the four pillars of team work: communication, trust, fun, and cooperation.

    For the last twelve years I’ve seen what fun can do for people. Kids make lifetime memories, adults forget their stressful schedules and lighten up, corporate professionals discover qualities in each other hidden by paperwork and rigid staff meetings, and families bond. And me? I get out there with my staff and have a blast too.

    Come see what Laser Quest can do for your next party.

    Laser Quest
    Kevin Ragan
    10944 N. May Ave.
    OKC, OK 73120

  4. We’ve Got Talent!

    March 2, 2011 by Kym Johnston

    The things that people always remember from an event are the food and entertainment. When you’re planning an event these are the two most critical aspects that help convey your theme and deliver the purpose of your event. At Box Talent Agency, we not only provide you with class acts and great music, we can take care of your event from start to finish!

    I’m Kym Johnston, Vice President of Operations at Box Talent. CEO, David Box started his business in 1987. He and some friends were planning a New Year’s Eve party when David decided to book a hotel room in Norman and stock it with a band and a few kegs. He charged a cover and at the end of the night realized he made some money. The band was so impressed by the evening’s turn out, they begged him to be their manager. He agreed, took on more bands and started promoting concerts and shows. Twenty-four years later Box Talent Agency is the most trusted source for everything from private parties to huge corporate events with offices in OKC, Tulsa, Norman, and Dallas.

    Our agency wows clients with professional, dependable service flexible enough for anyone’s budget! We can provide an acoustic duo or solo violinist for your rehearsal dinner to a full band in any genre for the reception. We regularly book famous acts like The Temptations, Jack Ingram, John Mayer, and Willie Nelson for huge crowd pleasing events. We also provide clients with “one stop shop” event planning services so we can handle every detail of your event.

    The idea that booking through an agency means paying higher prices is just a myth. Box Talent Agency works with you to meet your budget and make your event all it can be! Our performers are contracted with the agency, not with you, so you never get overcharged and you always get exactly what you want. The only thing you don’t get is the stress of managing the details! Anything that can go wrong has happened to us and we’ve learned how to avoid any possible glitches. We know how much time it takes for the band to set up, how much power the band requires to perform, what audio visual technology a motivational speaker requires, props and set up that a comedian or clown needs and a lot of other things that a client would never know to plan for.

    Peace of mind means you’ll enjoy your event so think twice before you decide to book entertainment directly. The most common issues we hear about are from those who book a band from Facebook or Myspace and then the band breaks up a week before the event. We come to the rescue of many frazzled brides!

    If you’re planning an event consider our reliable, professional, and affordable services. We’ve got DJ’s, and live bands performing everything from jazz and chamber music to rock and country. We have comedians, clowns, motivational speakers, magicians, star impersonators, and mimes! For a complete listing stop by www.boxtalent.com

    Boxed Talent Agency
    Kym Johnston
    6305 Waterford Blvd, Suite 480
    Oklahoma City, OK 73118

  5. It’s a Mansion!

    March 3, 2010 by Andrea Croasdale

    The word “mansion” brings to mind visions of elegance, spaciousness, and architectural artistry. If this description is your idea of the perfect setting for a wedding, then you’re in luck: Harwelden Mansion reflects the style and glory of early Tulsa.

    Hello, my name is Andrea Croasdale. I’m the facilities manager of Harwelden Mansion in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Although not a native Tulsan, I have grown to love the town and have made it my home. I came to work for the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, which owns Harwelden, after completing both my bachelors and masters degrees in History from the University of Tulsa.

    Constructed between 1923 and 1926, Harwelden was built as the private home by oilman E.P. Harwell and his wife, Mary. Upon Mrs. Harwell’s death in 1967, her majestic home was donated to the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, graciously continuing Mrs. Harwell’s legacy of supporting the arts in the community.

    The sprawling mansion, with its lovely landscaped grounds, encompasses the size of a city block. The 3,389 square feet mansion is said to be the only Collegiate Gothic-English Tudor Style home in Tulsa. For decades, Harwelden has been the preferred choice for weddings, parties, and other events. Its reputation as the perfect setting for weddings of distinction has spread primarily through word-of-mouth by satisfied brides and impressed guests.

    The rental fee, which benefits the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, includes your exclusive use of the mansion and its grounds. If you plan to hold your event outside, the mansion’s interior will be available should the weather interrupt your plans. The use of Harwelden’s event furniture, as well as indoor set-up, tear-down, and custodial cleaning, are included. Your choice of caterer is welcome to use the mansion’s large caterer’s kitchen, and we will happily suggest preferred vendors for all of your event’s needs.

    If you’re looking for a venue with the spacious elegance of a mansion steeped in Oklahoma’s opulent oil boom history, consider the unique style and charm of Harwelden Mansion in Tulsa. You may come to the conclusion, as numerous others have, that no other decorations are necessary here, as the impressive architectural design speaks for itself.



    Andrea Croasdale, Facilities Manager
    Harwelden Mansion
    2210 South Main
    Tulsa, Oklahoma 74114




  6. A Winning Event Place? You Bet!

    January 4, 2010 by Christy McCormack

    What could be more thrilling than watching your favorite horse cross the finish line?

    Sharing the action, fun and excitement with your entire group of racing fans at Remington Park in Oklahoma City!

    Hello, my name is Christy McCormack, Remington Park’s Groups Sales Manager.

    I’ve  worked at Remington Park just about my entire adult life!  I began at the age of 22 in Guest Relations helping people navigate the facility.  Next, I went to the Racing Information Center where I assisted people in understanding the program and learning how to wager.   In 1996, I became Group Sales Coordinator and  promoted to Group Sales Manager when Remington Park’s casino opened in 2005.

    Remington Park offers exceptional value to event and meeting planners.   You can book your racing group from 20 – 600 people and enjoy free stadium seating.  Or, if you wish to pre-purchase catering and programs, we’ll also be happy to arrange those services, as well. 

    For motor coach operators, we offer two packages.  Our Tourism Package allows operators to include Remington Park as part of a tour package with no time limit at the casino.   This free package includes $10 free-play for guests and free sourvenirs – even if the motor coach is simply visting Remington Park as a rest stop.  Lunch (including box lunches) for the group can be pre-purchased at a discounted rate.

    We also have a Preferred Operator Package for motor coach operators.  When set up in advance, Remington Park  pays reputable operators a per person commission with a 12 12 month, 4 group minimum contract.

    Especially popular are  Remington Park’s complimentary stable tours enjoyed by children, adults and seniors.  For about two hours, groups ranging in size from 10 to 50 have the pleasure of visiting our barns to experience “A Day in the Life of a Race Horse.”  

    You might be surprised to learn that about 85% of Remington Park’s Group Sales business comes from catering.  Our luxury suites accommodate 15 – 65 people for wedding rehearsal dinners, wedding showers, bachelor parties, birthday parties, as well as monthly corporate meetings.   Our Eclipse Banquet Room is perfect for larger events, up to 350 reception style and 300 banquet style.

    Remington Park hosts a great number of corporate events, especially day meetings that often roll into social entertaining and wagering in the evening.   In January 2010, we will begin a $3 – $5 million dollar renovation and upgrading our meeting spaces which will include the latest technology in audio/visual equipment.       

    If you’re looking for a unique place to take your tour group, hold a corporate meeting or checking out venue choices for your wedding or other special event, don’t settle for a location that odds are will only “place or “show.”  Bet on the favorite to win every time – Remington Park!


    Christy McCormack, Group Sales Manager
    Remington Park
    One Remington Place
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111

  7. Tulsa Metro Chamber

    October 27, 2008 by Matt Pivarnik

    Networking Means Business!

    What would happen if you could personally introduce your business to thousands of other local business people – and have fun doing it? Chances are your business would grow by leaps and bounds, and so would theirs. It’s called networking and it really does work!

    Hello, my name is Matt Pivarnik, Senior Vice President of the Tulsa Metro Chamber. It’s a job I find very rewarding because (like I tell my kids), I get to help make Tulsa a better place to live, work and play. (Read More…)