Thursday, December 4, 2008

Second String Santa draws 4,000

More than 4,000 people turned out to Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday night with gifts in hand.

The annual Second String Santa party celebrated its 20th anniversary in a big way, collecting more than 3,000 gifts for needy children in the Charlotte area and raising a record $57,000.

The party was started by a group of friends who wanted to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season by collecting toys for children. The first year saw 600 guests at a backyard gathering and that number has steadily grown, making it one of the biggest social events of the season. It outgrew its longtime location at Founders Hall and moved to the uptown arena this year.

I hadn't been to the party when it was at Founders Hall, but I have a few suggestions for next year if they decide to hold it at the arena again.

  • Kill the fluorescent lights in the concourse at the arena. The lights were unforgiving and took away from the festive atmosphere. Hint: Ladies love Christmas twinkle lights. They make everyone look gorgeous.
  • Add a dress code to invites. I saw people in a broad range of outfits, from summer-weight dresses to women in full prom hair and makeup and full-length gowns. Cocktail attire seems appropriate for a holiday party. Although I have to give kudos to the three brave men in jaunty Christmas sweaters.
  • More bars! I saw a comment on a web site before I went along the lines of "You know how long you have to wait for a drink at SSS..." And while we're on the subject of adding stuff, more coat check areas are needed. My friends waited at least 20 minutes just to check their coats. Total buzzkill.

But aside from the lighting and long lines, it was cool to see so many people out on a Tuesday night, celebrating the giving season -- and enthusiastically partaking in the open bar. The arena floor was a sea of people socializing and dancing along with the live band to hits like "Proud Mary." I heard one person say "this is more people than they get for Bobcats games."

Even Michael Jordan made an appearance, briefly passing through the VIP area of the party before watching the festivities on the floor from an upper-level suite.

For more pics from the evening, click here and here.


Anonymous said...

Those guys in teh Christmas sweaters were the hit of the party. They were so funny.

Miss Lindsey said...

The party was fantastic... I was in the VIP representing, I approached Michael Jordan for a picture for lazyday, he kindly said he could not and said that he was sorry, but not before putting his arm around me and kissing me on the head several times! This was the most amazing party of the year... all thanks to MJ. lol

Miss Lindsey said...

If anyone snapped any pictures of Michael Jordan while he was in the VIP lounge let me know, or let me know where I can find one. :) Thanks!