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The theme of the auction party that kicks off this year’s 37th Annual Lakewood Home Festival was unveiled at yesterday's Lakewood Fourth of July parade. The black and white masquerade theme was revealed from a black and white float adorned with glittering masks and elaborate black and white decorations. Riding on the float, as well as walking behind it, were mysteriously masked members of Lakewood Early Childhood PTA (LECPTA) and their children, who threw candy, black necklaces and mask-shaped fans to the crowds gathered along the parade route. The scene was set to masquerade-themed music.

This year’s Lakewood Black & White Masquerade Ball will be held November 8 at Hotel Palomar. The party theme was inspired by Truman Capote’s 1966 Black and White Masked Ball at the Plaza Hotel in New York, which drew 500 guests and celebrities with names like Sinatra, Rockefeller and Kennedy to celebrate the success of the author’s crime novel, "In Cold Blood." The notorious event became known as “the party of the century.” Forty-seven years later, the LECPTA’s announcement of this year’s party theme coincides (almost anyway), with the 50th anniversary of the Lakewood Fourth of July parade.

The Lakewood Home Festival, which supports neighborhood schools, will take place Friday, November 8 through Sunday, November 10. Tickets will be available in October.

Hosted by the LECPTA, the Lakewood Home Festival is a community-wide event that raises funds for Lakewood Elementary School, J.L. Long Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School. The funds directly benefit students through the purchase of school materials, computers and enrichment programs. Attended by more than 4,000 patrons annually, the Lakewood Home Festival has raised more than $1 million for local schools since 1976. Last year’s home festival alone raised over $140,000 for the three schools, setting a new record.

In addition to touring a diverse selection of inspiring Lakewood homes throughout the weekend, visitors can shop items from local artists at the Market located inside Lakewood Elementary School, get a bite to eat at the Café, also located inside Lakewood Elementary, and attend the highly anticipated Black & White Masquerade Ball on the Friday night. This annual Lakewood Home Festival auction party, which sells out every year, generates a significant portion of funds raised, in part through ticket sales, and also via silent and live auctions. Local businesses donate a staggering array of offerings to fit every budget. Additional funds are provided by Lakewood Home Festival underwriters and sponsors, and the remainder are generated from home tour ticket sales and market vendors. This will be the second consecutive year that the auction party is held at Hotel Palomar. It would not be possible without the generous contributions of sponsors Glazers and Diageo, who are donating the wine, Lakewood Brewing Company, which is providing its selection of year-round and seasonal beers, including the popular Lakewood Lager, and Don Julio tequila, Ciroc vodka, and Bulleit Bourbon whiskey, which help to round out the cocktail selections at the open bar.

For more information about the Lakewood Home Festival, click here.

Story courtesy of Debbie Jordan; photo courtesy of Lakewood Home Festival