The Carolina Meadows Special Events Committee has presented many memorable events with various themes. Past parties, to name a few, have featured entertainment and cuisine from China, France, Spain, Holland, Paris, New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, and most recently— a Hawaiian Luau.
By all accounts, our Luau touched a special party nerve in the CM community who came to dine, dance and sing to a live Hawaiian band, the award-winning Tsunami Wave Riders.
That evening of fun, on June 6, began with dress and decor. Residents arrived wearing colorful shirts, skirts and dresses in the Hawaiian mode. Committee members welcomed them in the lobby with an Aloha greeting, placing multiple leis around their shoulders and sometimes a kiss on the cheek, in keeping with Hawaiian protocol.
Mark Maxwell, Vice President of Dining Services, and his staff saw that this same spirit continued into the Dining Room where residents were greeted again in a swirl of color with tiki posters covering the entrance doors, table centerpieces with fresh orchids, and cheerful paper lanterns throughout. The Wait Staff was also dressed for the occasion in Hawaiian shirts for the men, floral skirts for the women, and leis for both, complete with their happy party smiles.
Finally, we approached the culinary piece de resistance: an entire golden-bronze roast pig, spread the entire width of the carving board. Executive Chef, Cory Mattson stood ready to serve the succulent meat. Along with the pig, residents enjoyed Asian teriyaki chicken, mahimahi fish, fresh vegetables, abundant fresh tropical fruits, and an array of tantalizing desserts. The imaginative presentation surrounding the foods included vegetables carved into flowers and long wooden spears with chunks of strawberries, pineapple and melons.
Did we eat like the gods and the ancestors? Maybe better. There were 237 happy diners who ate the meat from two roast pigs, weighing 110 lbs. each. They also devoured four large pork shoulders, adding another 60 lbs. of gustatory pleasure. Is it any wonder our CM food is a major attraction to potential residents?
Withdrawing to the Auditorium after dinner, the party people sat at tables with large paper pineapples and a centerpiece of colorful fish. The glow from a psychedelic-colored palm tree lit up the band stand. The Activities Department staff served wine and soft drinks to an overflow crowd who found seats circling the room while listening and dancing to the “trop rock” rhythms of the Tsunami Wave Riders.
The musicians’ name derives from their belief that “We can ride the tsunami waves with the help of friends, family, and feel-good island music.” Here’s a Mai Tai toast to that sentiment.
By CM Resident Dorothy Mahan