I have been attending the Black and White Party for a number of years, including one when it was a backyard barbecue and one held downtown. Hard to believe the first one was held 25 years ago. Without a doubt, this year’s Black and White Party held at the Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan was one of the most successful, over-the-top parties ever held.
This is not to say that the previous parties weren’t just as stupendous but something about this party seemed to have that extra something.
First, I was thrilled to see the support the community is giving Aid for AIDS of Nevada. More than 3,000 guests attended the benefit for an evening of tastings, libations and entertainment with the most unbelievable view of the Las Vegas Strip.
The evening began with a VIP pre-party at the Boom Box room inside the Marquee Nightclub, where 200 guests sipped on specialty VIVID Vodka AFAN-tinis and enjoyed nibbles from The Cosmopolitan’s trendy steakhouse, STK.
Then the party started at 9 p.m. It was smoldering hot but I found Montecristo Rum offering snow cones made with its rum and flavorings including raspberry, sour cherry, root beer, grape and strawberry kiwi, so that helped me to cool off.
The Boulevard Pool is multilevel so it was fun to find two to three different offerings per level. As a first time participant and sponsor, The Cosmopolitan brought in some of its very own restaurants to offer small dishes from Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, Comme Ça, D.O.C.G., Holsteins, and STK.
Speaking of STK, Executive Chef Stephen Hopcraft and General Manager George Martin were on hand to introduce themselves and STK to the partygoers by offering some of the most delectable short ribs.
Throughout the pool, Jose Cuervo, Moet Champagne, Trader Joe’s, Absolut Vodka and Ketel One booths were available for cocktails and ice bars (how did they stay frozen?) offered chilled beverages. Other extraordinary restaurants serving wonderful tastings included BOA Steakhouse, Sushi Roku, BRIO Tuscan Grill, Rubio’s, P. F. Chang’s, Outback, The Cupcakery, The Cookie Zoo and Winder Farms.
Entertainment continued throughout the night with both strolling and staged performances on two stages. One of the highlights was Wynn Las Vegas’ Le Rêve showcasing a breathtaking synchronized swimming routine, then a water tango in the pool. Host and emcee Chris Saldana even jumped in the pool to join the Le Rêve ladies following their performance.
Longtime supporters, Penn & Teller announced that the annual party had already raised $60,000 from presale tickets and donations. Absinthe’s Melody Sweets closed the evening dancing across the stage while singing her signature opening act tune. Angel Porrino, who does a tap dancing routine in the avant-garde circus show, joined Chris Saldana on stage to show her support for AFAN since she couldn’t perform due to an injury.
It was a wonderful time with great food, wonderful beverages, outrageous entertainment all to support Aids for AIDS of Nevada. For more information, visit AFANLV.org.
I always welcome your comments and suggestions. Please email me at [email protected] and in October, my radio show Dining with Debbie will debut.