Let’s be honest, Halloween is the time of year we can all be kids. Who doesn’t like to dress up and pretend to be someone else for a few hours and rake in all the sugar we could possibly eat? Young and old, we love to slip into a costume and scare up some fun or make an entrance to a great party. (Read More…)
Who doesn’t like Italian food? The fact is, Italian has become the fare of choice for Americans whether it’s dinner for two or a fabulous catered meal for 200. Of course, there’s just Italian….and then there’s really great Italian!
Hello, my name is Bill Bonadio, the owner and chef of Papa Dio’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar. From the time I was eight years old washing dishes, I always wanted to be a chef and own my own restaurant. As I worked my way up in the business, I was very fortunate to have learned the art under some wonderful chefs. I also studied hotel and restaurant management at Oklahoma State University. I opened my first restaurant in 1979 featuring Dio’s original fried pizza. We changed to full Italian fare in 1981 and added the wine bar in 1996 so we could offer upscale, formal dining available in addition to family dining on the other side of the restaurant.
At Papa Dio’s we specialize in full catering services both on and off the premises. Since we’re only open for dinner, you can arrange to rent the entire restaurant for an exceptional buffet or sit-down luncheon for up to 100 guests. If you would prefer that we deliver a catered meal to another venue, we accommodate smaller groups or as many as 500 or more guests. Our full catering service includes everything needed for a professionally presented buffet or sitdown meal, including lovely chafing dishes, fine plates and silverware. Plus, when you let Papa Dio’s cater your function, you can trust us for professional bar service, wait staff and even security. We will also be happy to meet all your additional event needs through our trusted resources, including entertainment, linens and florals.
At Papa Dio’s, we’re famous for our northern Italian and Sicilian style fare. Lasagna is always a wonderful choice for an event and, at Papa Dio’s, you can choose just about any type of lasagna imaginable, including seafood and vegetarian. Our exclusive Trieste Sauce is a tasty combination of three different sauces. We’re just as comfortable preparing American specialties, including roast beef and turkey and you haven’t lived till you’ve tried our fabulous Salmon Mousse or our Crème Brule prepared with Mexican vanilla which can be served flambé style for extra flair.
For your next special event, large or small, count on Papa Dio’s for the finest Italian, American, French delicacies and so much more! Visit our website at www.papadiosokc.com or give us a call at 755-2525. If you’re looking for great food and service, we speak your language!
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
Photographers have coined the phrase “lighting is everything” and when it comes to your special event, it is just as vital. When the floral is set, the décor is in place, it’s the lighting and delivery of spectacular entertainment that makes the experience an unforgettable affair.I’m Dewey Beene, owner of Innovative Entertainment Solutions in Oklahoma City. My career in the special event planning industry started at Frontier City, just before I left high school where I learned the art of entertaining a crowd.
For five years, I was the featured stage magician for the OKC theme park and later, to the national chain of Six Flags theme parks. My career moved forward when I began hiring and casting other talent for shows at theme parks, theaters and other entertainment arenas. Most recently was a stint in Branson at The Magical Palace. After touring for years coordinating shows, I married, started a family and decided it was time to stay home.
I took all that experience in lighting, sound and audio effects from the theatrical arena and began to apply it to weddings and special events for corporations, charities, high society soirees, private as well as civic affairs. Out of Innovative Entertainment Solutions came a partnership with Dolly Levi’s Event Design Studio, a full service event planning company, and the creation of The Wedding Workshop, an educational seminar for brides and vendors.
At IES we specialize in the event production. We understand that everything from creative lighting and moving sounds, to unique and novelty entertainment must have a cohesive element. Our team of experts skillfully merges the elements of mood and emotion, theme and style to create the environment clients want to experience.
Lighting in the entertainment industry is known as the event planner’s secret weapon. It reveals elements you want to see, hides the ones you don’t and accentuates areas that need to have that special something. Imagine spotlighting a cake, centerpiece, color themes or image patterns which create those stunning accents. You can bring in all the drapery and all sorts of gorgeous décor and elements, but until they are lit they fade into the background.
The entertainment at Innovative Entertainment Solutions brings world class acts to your special event. Broadway musicals, side splitting comedians, acrobats, “living statues,” tenor vocalists, humorous motivational speakers and an interactive dance floor are just a few professional acts from which to choose. Our wide variety of productions is a perfect for everything including weddings to President Bush’s recent visit to OKC to raise money for the McCain/Palin campaign fundraiser we coordinated last month.
I invite you to take advantage of the many ways IES can enhance and transform your next special event into the unforgettable occasion of a lifetime.