The question came out of nowhere. Sitting in the coffee shop on Main Street, leaves falling and blowing outside in the chilling Colorado breezes, I felt the ambiance of autumn in the air. Pumpkin Spice in my cup, I was a happy native. Then she asked again, “Do you know Judy?”
Judy lives in the canyon, near Daniel’s Park, and every winter she has a party. It’s like the end all of winter parties, everybody goes. If you’re anyone in Douglas County, you’ve been to Judy’s parties. She’s a little eccentric, but her parties are the bomb!
“You mean the party with the dance band and all the decorations?” I remembered.
It had been a few years, but I remembered helping Judy decorate for October Fest. The weekend before the event had been a buzz with family gathering, costume making, and last minute preparations for what Judy referred to as the beginning of the Autumn Party Season.
Her amazing seasonal decor started at the front door and step-by-step took you through seasonal changes that rivaled Colorado’s best seasons.
1 – Entry Porch to Foyer
- White lights dazzled, embedded in the ornamental pines that flanked the doorway.
- Pumpkins stacked in bunches, strewn with autumn leaves began a seasonal transition, to baskets of poinsettia, followed by snowmen, eventually succumbing to pots of spring blossoms.
- Inside, traditional oranges, reds, and browns, in the foyer would slowly become reds, greens, and white, and then wintery whites and blue, fading into springish yellows, pinks, and aqua.
2 – Living Areas
- White couches strewn with seasonal pillows, shifting with each season.
- Table top candle arrangements featuring floral arrangements changing as the colors changed outside. Scented candles matched the seasons.
- Mantle decor moving through crystal summer ornaments to leafy autumn decor, followed by Christmas Decadence, giving way to winter crystals with dazzling blue snowflakes, and eventually vases of spring flowers.
3 – Bedrooms and Bathrooms
- Lavish rooms appointed with all the traditional parts, featuring bedding and towels in seasonal colors.
- Gift bags filled with seasonal goodies.
- Layers of color and warmth to add, or subtract as the season required.
And her party bands…
Always a party band! Autumn bands were always a combination of Jazz and time-honored Big Band style music. Christmas could be anything from an orchestra playing dance music and Christmas Carols to a featured act designed to ‘walk among her guests’ serenading the crowds as he went.
“Remember the year her husband turned 50 and she brought in Marilyn Monroe for that breathy rendition of Happy Birthday?” my coffee partner reminded me of the most extravagant party ever, at Judy’s. “There must have been 300 people stroll through their home that day, and Marilyn sang Happy Birthday about a million times. Each time to a standing ovation.”