Private Peninsula Chicago bash thrills 950 loyal friends and some cool celebs

Under the category of "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it", the private blow-out bash at The Peninsula Chicago on June 24 had 950 guests in shock and awe! Upon entering the roped off lobby between red velvet drapes, the first thing you saw was sky-high performers swaying back and forth swathed in flowing bright red and yellow silks amid multi-colored lighted globes that created a Cirque du Soleil type atmosphere. And that was only the beginning!

The brilliant red, oversized invite read: "The Terrace is Blooming, Secrets are Revealed".  The party was a celebration of summer, art, culture and exclusive first looks at the Pen's newly redesigned guest rooms, which were GORGEOUS!

Everywhere you looked, there were food and flower laden serving stations offering every type of dish imaginable: Peking duck, bison burgers, a whole pig, lobster corn dogs, hamburgers, lamb chops, foie gras, loaded seafood stations, loaded Chinese and Thai food stations, a rice bar, a chocolate bar, a macaroon bar, desserts, desserts and more desserts! Inside the Shanghai Terrace, dessert stations were inspired by Chicago neighborhoods with clever decor to match. It was the most food I've ever seen at an event, other than at the Pen's 10th anniversary party!

Downstairs, the gaiety continued with the entire Terrace bedecked in fun and frolic--there was even a ramp built for expert skateboarders who were swirling up and down the slopes to the beat of the band. Dramatically attired performance artists, courtesy of ZZAZZ Productions, posed for pics with excited guests. The table decor was filled with whimsy too--spray-painted running shoes filled with colorful flowers! We were on true sensory overload for this fabulous affair that celebrated the opening of the Terrace, summer and the Hotel's cool redesigned guest rooms.

Seen on the scene: Chris Rock, Gloria Estefan, Brooke Skinner Ricketts, Jim Smith, Sherren Leigh, Ken Norgan, Susan Gohl and Jonathon Grabill, Michael Kutza, Vivian Teng, Peggy and Bill Martay, Ali Galante, Joe Langley, Michael Caputo, Vincent Anzalone, Tom Kehoe, Jean and Andy Antoniou with daughter Andrea, Sharyl Mackey, Vince Hart, Joe Schmidt, Tiffani Kim and Brad Griffith, Laura Schwartz, Tina and Jeff Weller, Rudy Segovia and Andy Sinclair, Joey and Tracey DiBuono, George Jewel, Nena Ivon, Jessa and Ryan Baker, Bob Zec, Stanley Paul, Mamie Walton, Elizabeth Adams, Brian Adams, Myra and John Reilly, Rochelle Trotter, Mary Ann Rose and Heinz Kern, Tony Abruscato, Laura Wallace, Vonita Reescer, Kathleen Casey, David Donnersberger and Claire Kenneally Donnersberger, Yvette and Rick Cusack and Sheila O'Grady to name a very few.

Catering director Greg Hyder and Regional VP/GM of Peninsula Hotels Maria Zec sure know how to throw a party!  And thanks to Kehoe Designs, Tracey Tarantino DiBuono (ZZAZZ Productions), local street artists, DJs and bands and the amazing staff at the Pen, this was a party no one will soon forget!  I see more awards in Greg's and the Pen's futures for sure!  Congrats and thanks to ALL for putting Chicago at the TOP of the party chart!

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