A Seaside Caribbean Themed Picnic
Minutes of Fun
of Music and Performances
We were contacted by a company who leads the way in heart health medical innovations to help them plan an amazing company picnic. Being a heart tech company, they knew their employees were the heart and soul of their company, and they wanted nothing more than to treat them. We love helping companies coordinate some good old fashioned employee appreciation, so we were all ears! When they told us they wanted a Havana Day Dreamin’ themed picnic, we set to work planning the perfect Caribbean family day.
It was a balmy day in September when we pulled up to the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, a favorite spot of ours to host staff picnics. The beautiful white sand beach and turquoise ocean makes for the perfect backdrop, and we knew it would be even more perfect for the Havana themed company picnic. We began setting up our décor, from the beautiful signage to the floral centerpieces. We were expecting 200 guests, and they were set to arrive at 2:00 that afternoon, and we wanted everything to be pristine for their arrival.
Setting the Scene
As we worked, our catering team arrived and set to work preparing the afternoon’s lunch. The smell of BBQ filled the air as we set up, and it was enough to make us peckish. Our menu for the day was full of classic Cuban delicacies. Ropa Vieja steak and Pollo Asada chicken sizzled on the grill, filling the beach with its mouthwatering scent. The morning passed quickly as we worked, and before we knew it, our picnic goers were about to arrive.
When they arrived, they were greeted by two costumed actresses in Cuban-style attire, posted beneath our Club Havana arch. They were greeted with the beautiful beach, with white picnic tables on the seaside. The shore was decorated with plenty of props and décor in tropical Caribbean colors. The smell of food mingled with the smell of the salty ocean, and music from our live bongo drummers filled the air. Judging by the looks on their faces, we could tell we set the scene well. All our guests looked as if they felt they’d been transported to a Cuban resort town. They were thrilled to be a part of it, too.
Dinner is Served!
Lunch was ready by the time they arrived. Besides the BBQ, our menu also including fresh Cuban salad, caramelized fried plantains, and mouthwatering macadamia nut cookies. We’d brought in our favorite churro truck, and the owner had prepared some seriously delicious dessert. He’d concocted every kind of dipping sauce we could want for, from Dulche de Leche to chocolate to strawberry. There were also plenty of drinks on tap in preparation for the field games and the thirst our guests would work up. We also had a serviced bar to provide drinks while they lounged by the seaside.
Seaside Field Games
With the guests at the ready, our MC gave the signal for the field games to begin. Our client wanted classic picnic field games, and we’d pulled out all the stops. We got wrapped up in the action watching the employees play cornhole and volleyball at the net our venue had kindly set up. The guests, as well as us, had our fair share of laughs when a round of Giant Cup Stack began. The employees faced off head-to-head trying to wrangle some seriously giant cups with the timer ticking away. When we say giant, we mean giant. These cups take two hands to hold, and that made it all the more challenging. The teams really enjoyed themselves, though, and we enjoyed watching them.
The employees lined up next for a round of water balloon toss. So many took part, in fact, that they were lined down the shoreline. A pair would stand facing each other, one with a balloon, and one holding a hat. The goal was to land the balloon in the hat of your teammate. Everyone had a blast competing in it, and the splatters from the balloons helped cool them off between rounds of lemonade and beer.
Mid-afternoon, we were ready for our special entertainment. Our MC drew the crowd’s attention as two pairs of salsa dancers began their show. The women’s beautiful blue dresses beamed in the afternoon sun while our live band filled the air with salsa. They preformed two sets, and then it was time for some crowd participation. The dancers gave a lesson to all the picnic goers, and we had a blast watching them follow along. They seemed to enjoy it, too.
We always like to give our guests a little something to remember their big company picnic by. For this staff picnic, we’d brought in plenty of goodies for the employees to take home with them. We’d made up branded fresh coconuts that they could not only sip out of, but keep as a memento of their fun time. Likewise, we’d set up a table full of brightly colored paper fans and ornately painted maracas for our guests to take as keepsakes. Our costumed actresses also partook in photo ops with the employees, and we had an expert photographer on hand to capture every moment.
Even After 35 Years…
Our day wound to a close at 6:00. The buffet closed up first, and the event began to wrap up. There was still a buzz in the air from the live band, and from our guest’s chatter and laughter. We could tell they had a great time, and it was a little bittersweet to see it come to a close. Of course, we always feel satisfied, and eager for the next adventure, but it can be a bit sentimental sending off such a wonderful day. Our guests began to file out, still chatting and already reminiscing about the exciting matches and delicious food.
Once they had gone, we began to pack up. Now, the sun had begun to dip low in the sky, and the band could be heard in the background packing up their equipment. The engine of the food truck rumbled to life as it pulled out of the resort. The seaside air grew chilly, as it always does near sunset in the fall, as we folded umbrellas and packed away decorations. Like we said, it is bittersweet, but the fact that we brought joy to so many people leaves us feeling fulfilled. It’s what we do. It’s our goal every time. And it’s what we love to achieve. As we left the beach, the sunset over the horizon, we felt pleased with our day’s work, and began to look forward to the next picnic.