Secret Pop Up Speak Easy Party
I had heard rumors that cute little Palmer, Alaska had a seedy history of underground passageways between some of the buildings in the historic downtown business district. Perfect entrance to a secret party.
A pop up speakeasy is a bar that pops up in an unexpected location much like they did in the 1920s.
It turns out after harassing the Palmer Historical Society and lots and lots of phone calls that the Palmer underground is sorta true, but more like closet space sized and not big enough for an event. But my research led me to Palmer's old mortuary, where they had had a huge underground space with ... conveyor belts to take the bodies in and out of the basement.
You are never going to guess what building this is now. Never. So I'll tell you. The super cool and reinvented Valley Annex where all the cool hipsters are now having their shared office spaces. The basement was off limits, but they had a fabulous, though not yet renovated garage space.
And I mean raw space. No heat. No electricity. No nothing but mismatched boards and a concrete floor. It was perfect. No one would ever suspect a secret party in there!
Kathy Ax with Social Ice cut me blocks of ice that fit growlers and bottles of champagne and wine to keep booze ice cold. She then provided large 2" round ice cubes for the bourbon bar. They were a huge hit!
I had to bring in everything. Heaters and electrical supply because it was winter and cold and dark. I used unexpected elements like a light up bar, trays filled with ice that lit up from the bottom for even more ambient lighting, as well as cafe lights strung across walls and the live band brought some of their own lighting as well.
The speakeasy was by exclusive invitation to party in Palmer's underground. A brief explanation of a pop up speakeasy was sent electronically along with encouragement for guests to dress the part.
Guests were also asked to bring either a growler of beer or bourbon to share for tastings that went on throughout the evening.
Upon RSVPing guest names were checked against the guest list and then they were sent the address and password in order to gain entrance to the party.
Once past the bouncers guests were given the opportunity to don feather boas or grab a toy gun in case they forgot to dress up.
However all the party goers got really into the theme and we saw some really fun couples and beautiful costumes.
And what is a secret bar without an awesome live band? We had Harp Daddy and the Backcountry Mojo. Their sound was rocking!
We had such a huge selection of drinks that they were listed on an 8' tall chalkboard.
And what is a 40th birthday party without 40 flaming candles. Our guest of honor was a great trooper and eventually got them all blown out.
This right here is my favorite photo of the night. This is birthday boy's face maybe after too many surprises throughout the night.
Surprise! The night ended with a fun burlesque strip tease down to pasties. But I won't be showing that here. Guess you should have been invited if wanted to see more!
And it wouldn't be a secret pop up party in a garage with no water, electricity or heat in winter in Alaska without team La Boum. Left to right: Rebecca, the planner and designer; Nathan our bouncer and builder; Ciara, our assistant coordinator, and Calvin our other bouncer and strong man!
Photographer: Lori Zervantian, Farrar Photography
Planner/Designer: Rebecca Kopperud, La Boum Events
Onsite Coordinator: Ciara Zervantian, La Boum Events
Music: Harp Daddy and the Back Country Mojo
Burlesque: Sahara Storm Studios
Bar service: Cole Curtner and Denalyeska Services
Ice service: Social Ice
Venue: The garage at the Valley Annex
Rentals: La Boum Eevnts, Special Events Alaska and Social Ice
In memory of Lori Zervantian, the owner and genius behind Farrar Photography. She provided many wonderful photos of our events over the years. You will be truly missed.
I hope I have given you some inspiration for your next big bash! Like what you see? Feel free to leave a comment, I always try to respond directly. I would love to work with you on your next party or special event, big or small!
Until my next blog post, here's to making your next event YOUR BEST BASH YET! To book me fill out our CONTACT form to get started.
xoxo - Rebecca
Hey there! I am Rebecca Kopperud, a born and bred Alaskan, as well as the owner and chief designer behind La Boum Events.
I began my career in event planning organizing conferences and meetings. In 2012 I had the opportunity to strike out on my own and start my own company. I choose the name La Boum Events because it is slang for "the party!" I was looking for a name that reflected my love of french culture, my bubbly personality and above all, my love for entertaining. La Boum Events was born and we absolutely took off planning Alaska's best weddings and celebrations.
Since then I have invited other super organizers and decorators to collaborate with me to offer spectacular event planning services throughout Alaska. Meet our team on our ABOUT page.
To book La Boum Events for your event, fill out our CONTACT form to get started.