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Happy New Year Grand Rapids! 2016

We had a blast this New Years Eve toasting glasses of champagne with friends to ring in 2016. This year I co-hosted a N.Y.E. bash with good friend Aaron VanderGalien at his newly renovated office space, Deksia. Earlier this year Aaron gave me a tour of the space and I was completely taken by how beautiful it was. During our tour I made mention that, “We should throw a party here sometime,” and there came about the Kladder-VanderGalien New Years Eve Bash!

Planning the party together was a lot of fun and between the two of us we were able to coordinate a great list of vendors and sponsors to host one of the best looking crowds of friends in town.

The ticketed event opened its doors at 9pm to guests where they arrived to find live entertainment, an open bar, appetizers and desserts, a henna tattoo artist, the MSU game on the big screen (which was quite the unfortunate circumstance) and more.

A HUGE thank you goes out to all of our sponsors: Deksia for hosting us in their space, POUR for providing the awesome bar service, Adam Bird Photography for capturing the evening, Icon Sign for the rock’n photo wall, Fortress Partners for covering our added insurance needs and to Gibson Construction who provided our official champagne toast of 2016.

Also, to these sponsors for contributing to our swag bags: Propaganda Doughnuts (who also provided treats for the evening), 6.25 Paper Studio, Posh Petals, Rowster Coffee, Seitsema's Orchards and Cider, Red Water Restaurant Group, Aqua Hydrate, Sweet Home Comforts, and Brown Paper Package for putting the bags together for us.

The event as a whole was a great creative outlet for me. Event planning is not my day job these days, but it’s most certainly in my nature. It gives me great joy to bring fun people together for fun things.

I’m always amazed and extremely grateful that first and foremost, people want to come to the events that I plan. At the party on Thursday I was reminded by a friend of#SaturDaze, which probably draws blanks for most of you. #SaturDaze was (I don’t know how else to describe it) an ‘underground dance party’ I threw with three friends in the then vacant Harris Building downtown. It was a $5 cover and B.Y.O.B. and everyone was invited.

While it was a stark difference from the event on N.Y.E. this year, the feeling of planning something, making the invitation public, and waiting to see if people respond positively is thrilling, for me at least. I recall the first time we threw a #SaturDaze and we weren’t even sure people would come. Then, 30 minutes before the listed start time a line began to form outside the marked door off Division Avenue. We watched from the second floor window in amazement. It was quite the lesson in supply and demand.

Cheers to 2016. May your year be filled with happy moments, love, and all the other good stuff life is made of. Happy New Year!