I don't know about you, but I can't believe it's October. Maybe because the temperatures are still well into the 80's and I have yet to see the first leaf fall. But, I know it has to be October, because at the SPCA, we're in what we call "Barkaritaville mode".
"What's Barkaritaville??" you say, well I'll tell you! Barkaritaville is THE fall fundraising event for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. The SPCA's large parking lot will be transformed into a block party featuring 20-30 fun, themed booths, each offering a variety of tasty food & drinks, plus games with prizes, a costume contest, and music all night by DJ Jeff Edwards.
Each of the participating booths will be competing for votes in the categories of best food, best drink, best theme, and best overall booth. Event attendees get to sample all of the yummy offerings and vote for their favorites.
Booth registration is FREE and there are some terrific prizes up for grabs, including gift certificates to local businesses and a Mountain Vacation plus $500 for the grand prize winning booth! You could run one with your best friend, your spouse, your coworker, or with your business partner. It's a fantastic, fun and easy way to show off your skills or promote your business, whether your business is food oriented or not.
The SPCA will provide a 20 x 20 ft space for each booth, paper trays to serve food, small, plastic cups for drink samples, napkins, sporks, hand sanitizer and a voting bank to collect votes. Booth operators need to provide their own tent, a table or two, a couple of chairs (if needed), theme decor, and bite-sized food & drink samples . Set-up is 10am until 4pm on event day and booth operators must remain "open" for the duration of the event.
If you need some inspiration, past winning booths have included "The Wizard of Oz" (they brought their own rainbow!), "Phideaux's Phiesta" which won best food with their howl-worthy chili, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with their own Audrey Hepburn look-a-like, a "Silver Screen" booth serving pâte à choux with champagne, and adjoining "Mad Hatter" and "Queen of Hearts" booths serving Caterpillar Cocktails, White Rabbit Pudding and other Wonderland delights.
Other memorable booths include "Day of the Dead", a Pirate themed booth serving Caribbean punch, a "Southern Comfort" booth serving what else but fried chicken and bourbon , "Starbarks Pup-Cake and Catfé", and a Disco themed booth with award winning Funky Love Punch.
Who knows what we'll see this year. You could come up with a crowd favorite and walk away with the top prize! At the very least, you'll get to enjoy the event for free and win the warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing your efforts have helped promote a great cause and raised much-needed funding for homeless pets in our community.
Ready to sign up? Visit LetLoveLive.org/barkaritaville for details, email email@example.com or call 803-648-6863 and ask for Claire. Hurry, spots are limited and they're going fast!
Not interested in hosting a booth but want to sample all the goods? Go ahead and get your tickets to Barkaritaville in advance and save $5. Purchase online at LetLoveLive.org, over the phone at 803-648-6863 or in person at the SPCA, SPCA Thrift Shops or at these great sponsors: Aiken Saddlery, Auto Tech, or Return Engagement.
Your admission ticket grants you access to all of the goodies at the booths, plus voting tokens to declare your favorites, games with prizes, and entrance to the costume contest if you like, which has some pretty fantastic prize opportunities of its own! Leashed dogs are absolutely welcome and there will be plenty of treats for them, too.
Join us on October 21st! Bring your appetite, your thirst and your dancing feet to the SPCA for some fantastic food, delicious drinks, fun games, music and a tail-waggin' good time for a really great cause!
Sarah Neikam is the Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah's family includes three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady, who are all living happy, loved lives thanks to the efforts of the SPCA.