The AIDS Resource Center Ohio (ARC Ohio) has been hosting Masquerage since 2002. Over the years the event has morphed from a fun dance party attended by a couple of hundred guests in masks, to an event so grand Ron Rollins of the Dayton Daily News nicknamed it Dayton’s Party of Parties in 2009. Each year it seems to get bigger with the last two years attendance hovering around the thousand mark. The theme, which was revealed in August at the theme release party, is Once Upon A Time. Guests are required to have a mask, but if the trend of the last few years holds true, the majority of party attenders will be in costume. In my opinion, that’s perhaps the best part of the event, watching all the people and seeing how they interpret the theme. Masquerage 2013 Chair Denise Swick has declared “this year the event will be sexier than ever, but more than that, we’ll be raising funds for an organization that saves lives in our community.”
After 4 years at the Roundhouse, Masquerage is moving, but just a few hundred yards away to the Coliseum at the Fairground, located at 1043 S. Main Street, just across from Miami Valley Hospital. Event decor wizard Chris Newman, a designer and decorative painter by trade, says the move to the Coliseum has given me a whole new palate to create from. And as I write this, Chris is hard at work, leading a volunteer crew through the creation of what he calls the enchanted forest, which will be the first thing general admission guest see upon arrival. Guests will be greeted with a welcoming cocktail, courtesy of Jagermeister. Nonstop entertainment, dancing, appetizers courtesy of Fusian and Scratch event catering are all included in the $50 general admission tickets. The $50 also represents the cost for ARC Ohio to administer one quick response HIV Test, made available for free for anyone in our community to be tested.
For those looking for the VIP experience, you’ll want to splurge on a Red Ribbon Lounge ticket for $200. These guests will have their own entrance this year, along with valet parking by Lexus of Dayton. You’ll experience all that comes with general admission as well as have the opportunity to have a free mask painted on from 5-8pm at The Carousel House on the Fairgrounds or from 8-10pm at the event. Their will be a cocktail fountain, snacks from Salar, open bar, a fortune teller to tell you about your happily ever after as well as the coveted Swag Bag.
Guests will be entertained by The Rubi Girls, a tradition at Masquerage and the original visionary’s of Masquerage. Also this year Amanda Punchfuk will open the party with a production number, sure to be over the top. Zoot Theater Company and the Dayton’s Annual Tranylvanian Convention, as well as a few surprises as well. A silent auction will include a Jagermeister machine, Fred Myers Jewelry, beer tastings, restaurant gift certificates, tickets to the arts and much more.
Tickets for Masquerage can be purchased online, or pick up your tickets at Lexus of Dayton, Ghostlight Coffee, Square One Salons or Clash Consighnment. If you’d like to support ARC Ohio, but can’t attend, consider purchasing a raffle ticket for the Cinderella Raffle. Winner will have their choice of 4 months of house cleaning from Eco Maids of Dayton or 4 pairs of shoes from Itegritas. A second winner be picked to claim the remaining prize. Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $20 and can be purchased online or at Masquerage.
(And in the spirit of total disclosure- I am the event producer for Masquerage).