Who: Local celebs, music lovers, and friends of Open Arms of Minnesota
What:The Butterball Party 2011
Where: Graves 601 Hotel
When: Nov. 19, 2011
Why: To support Open Arms of Minnesota, an organization that provides meals to people with life-threatening diseases
Butterball, one of the best parties in the Twin Cities, only happens every other year. I was thrilled to score a ticket to this event. As I made my way into the Graves, I saw Twin Citians dressed to impress, from men in flashy jackets to women in sleek dresses and fur. The snow and ice outside didn't stop ladies from wearing sky-high heels, either. Partygoers sipped Opulent Vodka cocktails while go-go dancers and stilt walkers paraded around the room.
I ran into foodie star Andrew Zimmern and his lovely wife, Rishia. I also chatted with Kevin Winge, executive director of Open Arms. Since 1986, the organization has provided free meals to people with life-threatening diseases. In fact, Open Arms’ 1,400+ volunteers deliver more than 700 meals per week. Talking to Kevin reminded me what this fabulous party was all about.
But my favorite run-in had to be actor and local heartthrob Josh Hartnett, who is a supporter of Open Arms. While my inner 16-year-old had a meltdown, my outer 27-year-old managed to stay calm. Sadly, Josh did not immediately fall in love with me the way he does in my "Pearl Harbor" fantasies. Sigh...
After some opening remarks from event co-chairs Dan Buettner and Varda Nauen, Minneapolis trio Semisonic took the stage. The band rocked the Graves with their '90s hits, including "F.N.T." and "Closing Time."
The night ended with a performance by Har Mar Superstar (a.k.a. Sean Tillmann of Owatonna). The crowd cheered as he stripped off his clothes and performed songs from his latest album “Dark Touches.” I admired how much confidence and charisma this balding, overweight performer had. Looking back, I can say that Butterball definitely lived up to the hype. I’ve already marked my calendar for the next party in 2013.