A Darkside of Dining
I had the pleasure of attending a private event at the home of Candy Wilson, owner of "Jewelry by Candy" for a sure to be one memorable dining experience for everyone.
From the driveway to the immaculate back yard, Candy did an amazing job creating an elegant Halloween theme throughout the house. Guests arrived to, what it seems like, a never ending driveway to the foyer filled with glowing candles, tiny lanterns and cobwebs. As you walk in through the front door, you are greeted by a ghostly character atop a bed of hay surrounded by a family of pumpkins. The first station was a special display of auction items, Curated by Candy, that included an Alexander McQueen black mini handbag and a rare wine collection.
The second station consists of a dessert table guarded by a zombie like female character dressed in white. The dessert was an assortment of chocolate marshmallow ghost like figurines, eyeball candies, dark chocolate popcorn and red blood like licorice. Take a minute if you dare and pose in the graveyard filled with coffins, skeletons and stone heads. The third station was the appetizer table complete with 2 full size skeletons on the table, where one housed the edible grapes.
From there you can explore the adjoining aquarium room and walk your way to the rest room by following the bloody footsteps. Just follow the floating candles in the hallway! Oh, let's not forget the scary and surprising floating head on the mirror when you walk into the rest room!! You get the picture?
While we were waiting, 2by2s, for our turn to go into the dining area, we were able to sip our wine or cocktail in the beautiful backyard. After we took pictures with the mummy, guests had time to mingle and get to know each other while watching classic scary movies on the big screen. Did I mention the Koi fishpond?
Last but not least, it was time for the dining experience. Candy turned her garage into a pitch black dining room that seated 50 people comfortably. We were served lamb chops, rice pilaf, chicken & vegetable kabob and a dinner roll. We all shared a laugh or two, but quickly composed ourselves and realized that the dark dining experience is an every day experience for those who are blind. Once dinner was over, Candy lead us in a beautiful trinity candle lighting presentation reminding us how blessed we are to be able to experience the evening and to be able to help those in need. The dinner ended with her nephew Rocko serenading us with a few piano selections that included a piece from "Phantom of the Opera". Rocco is blind.
I had the opportunity to get to know Candy and asked her a few questions about the event.
Li: Your “A Darkside of Dining” event was definitely in the top few of the nicest & most experiential private parties I’ve been to. How did you get started doing events?
Candy: I love hosting Halloween and dinner parties and I love sharing my passion for parties. When my nephew Rocco lost his vision at 3 years old, I decided to combine the two into a dining event. My home can accommodate 12-150 guests comfortably. The dinner became an annual event, and this year we included The Nevada Blind Children's Foundation in order to raise awareness to the cause.
Li: For those that did not make it to the event, can you explain the premise behind the dark dining experience, and what does The Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation mean to you?
Candy: The Darkside of Dining gives our guests a moment to let go of their sense of vision and bring forward their sense of smell and touch to enjoy the dinner. I wanted them to listen to the sounds and voices of their dinner companions, and ultimately experience the dark with fear. I wanted my family and friends to experience the challenges of Rocco’s daily life. The Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation has helped hundreds of visually impaired children like Rocco experience life through activities like beeping baseball and Easter egg hunts that we take for granted.
Li: I know that you are also a talented jewelry designer and you love fashion. How did you get started, and where can people buy it?
Candy: I love pearls! I started designing jewelry with pearls and gemstones more than a decade ago. Currently I host jewelry parties, and I also do trunk shows at Nordstrom. You can follow me on Instagram, jewelry by candy for information on where and how you can buy my pieces. We will also announce our website launch date.
Li: Last question. Can you share with everyone what the “Curated Closet” event is about, when it’s taking place, and what kinds of cool finds do you think we can nab?
Candy: I have some fun things in the works, and they will all be "Curated by Candy". The next event that we're very excited about is our Curated Closet event on November 9th, where you can shop for designer purses, clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories that are pre-loved. Prices are highly discounted and you will also be supporting Dress for Success, a program that provides clothing for women entering the work field.
About the Author: Li Jackson is a 16yr veteran of the industry and is currently the VP of Marketing at Plus Studios, an Events Exhibits and Environments company based in Las Vegas Nevada. She is also Founder of Tradeshowlife®️, an Online Media company.