Archive for the ‘Events’ category

Birthday Party in Napa!

December 16, 2014

If you want to celebrate your Birthday, why not take a few of your closest friends and family to your favorite winery?

That’s just what our client did!

It was actually a surprise party for her husband’s 50th Birthday.  Mike Steffens, Essence Entertainment, custom designed and produced the entire event.

Transportation for event

Transportation for event

The guests were gathered for cocktails at the Monarch Bay Club.  They were then driven by limousine to the Orange County Airport where they boarded their personal aircraft which swiftly flew them up to the Napa Valley.

Welcome to Napa Valley!

Welcome to Napa Valley!










A limousine then delivered the guests to the Opus One Winery.

Opus One Winery

Opus One Winery


Opus One Winery Tour

Opus One Winery Tour

The guests were provided with a private tour of the winery, where they learned a lot about wine making and about Opus One in particular.

Chef Sarah Scott's Book

Chef Sarah Scott’s Book





A lavish dinner was then provided, accompanied by beautiful guitar music.  The Chef, Sarah Scott, designed a meal especially for them, and even made a personal appearance.  She also gifted each guest with an autographed copy of her new book!


A truly exquisite event all around!

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Eleven Bands Rock at Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion!

September 26, 2014

Eleven Bands Rock at Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion!

Over this past weekend, September 20 & 21, 2014, eleven bands provided by Essence Entertainment rocked the house!  They performed for the annual Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion in the city of Ontario, California.  Their stage was the brand new Town Square Park Amphitheater.  Surrounded by beautiful rose gardens, the thousands of participants enjoyed fabulous music by such favorites as Otis Day & the Knights, 2000 LBS of Blues, Cougrzz Rock, and Griff Hamlin & the Circle City Horns.

Otis Day

Classic “Otis Day” from National Lampoon’s Animal House

Otis Day & the Knights’ guitar player brought the house down with this solo:

The Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion®, created by the newly formed 501-(c)(3) Route 66 Reunion, is Southern California’s ultimate weekend celebration of America’s love affair with the automobile and its world-famous highway, Route 66. Three days of cruising, contests, live entertainment, fabulous food and revelry make it one of the nation’s most extended, long-play events of its kind. Held annually each September along historic, tree-shaded Euclid Avenue in Ontario, California, the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion is where classic cruisers, convertibles, hot rods, and wicked Woodies fuel a jam-packed jamboree.

2000 LBS of Blues

2000 LBS of Blues





Cougrzz Rock

Cougrzz Rock






Essence Entertainment’s Talent Manager Judy Kuri was there to make sure everything ran smoothly – she worked hard, but had a blast!


Griff Hamlin & the Circle City Horns

Griff Hamlin & the Circle City Horns



Judy is already taking orders for entertainment for next year’s Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion – you won’t want to miss it!







Orange County Event Production

August 18, 2014

Orange County Event Production

oc event production


Planning a big event can be overwhelming, to say the least.  There’s so much to think about and consider.

Would you like some help?

orange county event production

Table Decor / Catering

In Orange County, Event Production can be found at Essence Entertainment.  They will help you with all aspects of your event, be it entertainment, props & decor, catering, audio/visual, specialty furniture, photography/videography…you name it, they do it!

To get started, there are a few things you want to nail down – Date of the event, Location (unless you need help with that, too), Number of Guests expected, and an approximate Budget parameter.  This gives Essence Entertainment the basics on which to build your event.

OC event production

Lighting & A/V

Then comes the brainstorming!  An opportunity to explore lots of different ideas, possible themes, etc.  This is when you’ll want to express your priorities, goals, and general desires, so they’ll be sure to be incorporated.  Working with a professional Event Production company can really make the difference, because most likely they’ll come up with lots of fun ideas as well as creative ways to stretch your budget that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

orange county event production

Specialty Furniture

After exploring the many possibilities, Essence Entertainment will then present you with a few of your favorite options in detail to choose from.  Brainstorming may continue as a result of this step.

When all aspects are finalized, you can sit back, relax, and rest assured that every detail will be attended to.  Including details like Timeline / Sequence of Events, how Formalities are handled, and of course, all of the logistics regarding delivery, load-in, set-up, and execution – all of which culminate in the success your terrific event!

orange county event production

Theme Props

So, for the best Orange County Event Production services, be sure to contact Essence Entertainment – it never hurts to work with the most professional and successful Event Production company in town!

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Aerialist / Martini Ice Luge


Wine Grape Stomping Event in Orange County

August 8, 2014

Wine grape stomping event in Orange County!

Orange county wine grape stompingOC wine grape stompingWine grape stomping is such a fun activity!  It’s a great way to add a little pizazz to your Italian themed event, or your wine tasting event, or just because…!!

It is exactly what it sounds like…wine grape stomping – wine grapes in a half cask on which you stomp with your bare feet.  Yes, it’s a strange, yet exhilarating feeling…and fun!

wine grape stomp orange countyWhen thinking of grape stomping many of you will think of the famous I Love Lucy episode where Lucy gets into a large half cask to stomp grapes with a local Italian gal in her 1956 Season 5, Episode 23, called Lucy’s Italian Movie.  In classic Lucy form, she was lined up to play a part in a movie called “Bitter Grapes” – she took the title seriously and decided to pick up some ‘local color’ – ultimately she gets in a fight with the local gal, gets submerged in the must (term for the grape juice and skins), gets stained head to foot, and then cannot be in the movie after all!  The Director has to go with Ethyl instead.

Lucy wanted her on-film first reaction to the feel of the grapes to be authentic so she did not rehearse with any grapes – grapes were only used when the scene was actually being filmed.  So, the reaction you see is real.  She was quoted later as saying, It felt like “stepping on eye balls!”

orange county cigar stationItalian Duo orange countyEssence Entertainment produced a wine stomping event last Saturday and it was a smash hit!  (Pun intended.)  It was held at the Pelican Hills Resort in Newport Beach, CA.  Double A Events utilized not only our wine stomping, but also Oscar our Cigar Expert and our Strolling Italian Duo, Eric and Fred (Accordion and Violin).  It was a lovely outdoor event on the Bungalow Lawn – the decor was fabulous, the food divine, the music lively, the cigars aromatic…and the grapes squishy!

OC grape stompGrape stomping has been in practice at least since Ancient Roman times (there’s evidence on a sarcophagus dated 200BC).  The stomping not only creates juice, but it also aids in the fermentation process, called pigeage (peej-ahje) – which literally means ‘punching down the cap’.  The grape skins and stems float to the top creating a ‘cap’, which needs to be punched down again and again, enhancing the fermentation.  Pigeage a pied is the act of punching down the cap with your feet!

Grape stomping with feet has been banned in America since the end of the 20th Century, so you don’t have to worry about anyone’s feet having been in your wine!

The event was such a success that Double A Events has already requested Essence Entertainment to produce another wine grape stomping event!orange county grape stomp

Interesting tidbit – we used Corinthean grapes, which are nick-named Champagne Grapes – they have nothing to do with making Champagne – the story has it that there’s a famous photograph of a small bunch of these beautiful grapes sitting on a table next to a glass of Champagne…thus the nick-name Champagne Grapes!

Holiday Music and Entertainment in Orange County

June 24, 2014

Holiday Music and Entertainment in Orange County

Well, believe it or not, it’s that time again, folks!Holiday entertainment

It seems to come around faster every year, I know, but if you’re planning on having some kind of event over the Holiday Season, now is the time to contact Essence Entertainment to start planning and reserving your Holiday Music and Entertainment.

Whether you’re planning a children’s party, an intimate soiree with family and friends, or a large corporate dinner party, the sooner you book your Holiday Music and Entertainment the better – you’ll have more options to choose from…and you’ll be able to check it off your To Do List!

Holiday music and entertainment

Cocktail Hour is the first impression your guests get when they arrive, so it’s always a nice idea to have some themed music and / or entertainment during this time. The classic and ever popular things like Holiday Carolers and Santa book up fast – so if you’re considering either of these items for your event, be sure to call Essence Entertainment soon!  Other ideas include Jazz Trio, String Ensemble, or even a Steel Drum Duo playing your Holiday favorites.

entertainment holidayThere are lots of fun atmosphere things to do as well.  By this I mean things like Santa, Photo Station, Strolling Magician, Look Alikes, Costumed Tray Passing Girls, Caricature Artist…

holiday entertainment and musicFor Dinner and Dancing a professional dance band is the way to go!  Lots of great music and fun energy!  Be sure to visit Essence Entertainment’s website to explore the many dance band options available to you.  Essence Entertainment also has many fabulous Disc Jockeys to choose from.

After Dinner Shows are also very popular, be it for a large corporate event or a small intimate affair.  Essence Entertainment can design a customized variety show just for you, provide a Celebrity Head Liner, or create a wonderful experience with any number of fantastic performers and shows.  Essence Entertainment has videos on the Acts available to choose from, be it a Cabaret Artist, a Comedian, a Comedy Magician, a mini Legends Show, a Vocal Group…so many ideas to explore.

Activities might be on your list of things to look in to…the always popular Casino Night is a great option, or why not diversify with an evening of Horse music and entertainment

entertainment holidayFor Family and Children’s parties the possibilities are endless – Santa, Elves, Face Painter, Caricature Artist, Strolling Magician, Stilt Walker, Temporary Tattoo Artist, Line Dance or Country Dance Instructor, Look Alike, Arcade Games, Photo Booth, Petting Zoo, Snow Garden, Bounce House, Climbing Wall…the list goes on and on!

Don’t delay – contact Essence Entertainment soon to start brainstorming and planning your upcoming Holiday Event!

Hotel Irvine FAM Event 2014

May 20, 2014


Hotel Irvine FAM Event 2014

Keith Lambert, Director of Catering, along with the entire Executive Team, hosted an annual FAM Event at the new Hotel Irvine during the first week of May, 2014.  He came up with a number of terrific Theme ideas which were brought to fruition with the help of Mike Steffens at Essence Entertainment, and a few other key partners.  Guests from around the Country were treated to a number of particularly fabulous events! On Wednesday, April 30th, Keith’s “Ultra Lounge” was enhanced with an atmosphere dancer, who provided a visual as well as an interactive experience.  BTB provided the lounge furniture.

hotel-Irvine-102       hotel-Irvine-46

On Thursday, May 1st, the Guests traveled around the world during their International Dinner experience.  They were greeted with a beautiful lounge created by Lounge Appeal, augmented by an 8 foot tall Ice Sculpture Martini Luge – but this wasn’t your typical Martini Luge, mind you…the Bartender couldn’t reach the top of the Ice Luge to poor in the martinis, so Buffy the Aerialist was brought in to do the honors!

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hotelirvineFAMtrip-32The Guests then traveled ‘around the world’ (their Menus were their Passports), enjoying a beautiful introduction for each course by Chef, followed by a piece of entertainment and large pictorials of the particular country projected onto the white ‘walls’ of the room.  The Asian course was accompanied by Barbie playing the Guzheng; the Italian course was introduced by Lisa-Marie singing a lovely Italian Aria; the USA course was highlighted by Jim singing a la Frank Sinatra; and the French course was enjoyed while Jeff serenaded everyone on his Accordion.






On to Friday – lunch was served aboard Duffy Boats floating in the Newport Beach Harbor while Guitarist/Vocalist Michael Sullivan added his musical entertainment.  Friday evening was the Mediterranean Night hosted in the Patio, with lounge furniture provided once again by Lounge Appeal and rustic wooden tables provided by Fusion Linens.  The A/V Department outdid themselves with lighting – fantastic!  Josh provided a beautifully set up Cigar StationKarel Taska started the evening off with playing Spanish Guitar.  Then Les Zazous provided their own eclectic brand of European music (with props and staging provided by BTB) – Tera sings in five different languages!  The evening also featured Ballroom Dancers Zuzana and Desi hitting the dance floor!

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The overall event was extremely successful in every aspect.  Keith’s team at the Hotel worked very hard to make sure everything was just right, and their hard work really paid off.    Essence Entertainment and all of their performers were honored to be a part of it!


Birthday Party in Orange – 60’s Theme!

April 18, 2014

60’s Theme Birthday Party

A fabulous 60’s theme Birthday Party was produced by Essence Entertainment last Sunday in Orange.

The groovy affair was totally decked out with 60’s Theme decor, food and entertainment.  Even most of the 125 guests dressed the part, wearing mod 60’s theme rags.  Tie die, peace signs, and fringe was the name of the game!

60's theme birthday party

Birthday Girl Valerie

60’s theme Birthday Girl Valerie especially enjoyed the groovy happening!  The 2,400 photos taken at the event showed Valerie having a blast in every shot!

60's theme party

Judy with Jeff and Eric


This boss event was possible due to the many excellent vendors working together.  Designed and produced by Essence Entertainment’s Judy Kuri, all of the participating vendors contributed to the party’s success.


Birthday Party 60's theme

DJ Eric



DJ/MC Eric Miles held things together with his 60’s theme music and karaoke – many performers took hold of the microphone and enhanced the birthday party with their singing!




Comedy, Juggling and Close Up Magic were provided by Jeff Abbitt, Abbitt the Average .  He’s a big ham and was another one of those people who were having a great time in every photo.

Birthday Party 60's theme

Jeff Abbit the Average

Catering was brought in by Spectacular Catering – complete with cupcakes covered in peace signs. 60's theme party


Birthday 60's theme

Ice Luge



The Ice Luge serving martini’s was one of Valerie’s favorite parts, created and served by Carving Ice.


All of the props and decor were brought in by BTB – Best of the Best Event Productions and Party Rentals.  They provided just the right effect for this 60’s theme birthday party.

Even a Flash Mob came in and did their thing – so much fun!

Birthday party 60's theme

“Otis Day”


What was the highlight of the 60’s theme birthday party?   Why, it was when “Otis Day” (Dewayne Jessie) of “Otis Day and the Knights” arrived to wish Valerie a Happy Birthday!  The Otis Day and the Knights band was originally created as a fictional band to perform in the movie “National Lampoon’s Animal House”.  The band is best known of course for their versions of “Shout” and “Shama Lama Ding Dong”.

theme party 60's party 60's theme 60's theme party


Valerie and her friends had a ball dancing and singing along as Otis entertained all of the guests with his terrific 60’s theme renditions.

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