The Christmas Party, Scene Setting

  • Christmas Party & Fundraiser

    Channel: #party
    Exterior: #thestrip

    Scene Setting

    The lone Marriott Hotel in Uptown is doing its best to survive in spite of Branton’s decaying infrastructure but it would be hard to tell if it’s performing any better or worse than the other hotels and casinos on The Strip. The exterior of the building seems well-maintained with foliage manicured within an inch of its life and a valet service for those who pay for it. Inside, the lobby has been decorated for the season with wreaths, garlands of tinsel and holly, and a large, heavily ornamented Christmas tree to serve as the centerpiece of it all. There’s a prevailing scent of cleaners that can’t quite disguise the mustiness emanating from decades-old wallpaper.

    Signs in the lobby direct a steady stream of guests to a banquet hall that has been decorated and arranged for the purposes of tonight’s festivities. There are a few tables for those who want to sit while they enjoy finger foods and drinks from the open bar, but by and large the space is clear to encourage freedom of movement and dancing. To facilitate the latter, a stage at the far end of the hall is set up for a live band, although a mixture of popular music and Christmas tunes are playing over the speakers as people enter the room.

    Most of the attendees are clearly society folk and they mill around in their black tie finery. Many are drawn to a room opened off the main hall which is clearly designated for auctions and donations on behalf of Feeding America. In this room, a number of canvases – original art pieces created by Branton’s art community and donated from The Collective – line one wall. Against another wall, a table is accepting bids for a 2004 Mustang GT which is pictured just behind it.

    A sign out front of another room off of the main hall reads “PRIVATE: Secret Santa” and cainites with gifts or packages are permitted to enter in order to drop them off. This room is a small private lounge, complete with sectional couches and squat stool seats around tables and a small self-serve bar in the back. There will already be a small pile of gifts arranged on a table situated on the side of the room opposite the bar.

    Main Hall

    Banquet Hall

    Private Lounge/Secret Santa


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    The band in the corner, is none other than the Emmeric Durand Quintet, although noteably missing their lead singer and trumpet player.
    They are playing mostly instrumental background music, ranging from the Vince Guaraldi Charlie Brown Christmas album, the “standard” Christmas/Holiday fare, right up to jazzy re-imaginings (think post modern jukebox) of more modern holiday fare. Occasionally the sax player will step up to the microphone and sing, generally for higher energy dance numbers. They take a break every 45 minutes or so, and when they leave the stage, the canned music comes on, flawlessly arranged by the band’s sound guy, Guillermo.


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    They’re all in tailored tuxedos that match Emmeric’s dark navy blue. FYI.

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