14th Annual Beautiful Tables Showcase – Celebrating the Art of Entertaining at Lakewold Gardens

Thursday, October 25, through Sunday, October 28, the Beautiful Tables Showcase – Celebrating the Art of Entertaining will take place from 10 am to 4 pm at Lakewold Gardens located at 12317 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW Lakewood, WA 98499. The showcase honors the late Eulalie Wagner, former owner and visionary of Lakewold Gardens. According to Irene Russo, showcase coordinator for the Lakewold Gardens Beautiful Tables Showcase, Eulalie was duly noted as the consummate gardener and hostess. Her elegant soirees are legendary and this event evokes her gracious spirit while offering the visitor ideas to continue the tradition of entertaining at home. The event is open to the public and is $12 per person for non-members and $7 per person for Lakewold members. Tickets will be sold at the door, no pre-reservation is required.

Novice Formal and Best in Show

Irene explained details of how the showcase began, “It’s our 14th annual event and this year’s showcase has 32 designers displayed throughout the Wagner house — including upstairs. Tables will be judged in the following categories: formal, contemporary, holiday, whimsical, people’s choice, and designer’s choice. There will be two levels of table designers: professional and novice. Professionals have the opportunity to promote their business and the novice designer can do a table for family and friends, and gain experience. They are judged by a panel of judges and ribbons are awarded.”

Attendees will be able to view the 32 tables in the Wagner house and view the grounds during the fall season. The 10-acre estate garden was previously owned by Eulalie Wagner and her husband George Corydon Wagner. Irene explained history regarding the garden estate, “The garden was originally purchased in 1908 by Emma Alexander and transferred to her son H.F. Alexander, a shipping magnate for America’s largest steamship company. He then bought the adjoining 5-acre lot creating the 10 acres you see today. In 1925, he sold the estate to Major Everett Griggs and his wife Grace. They named the property Lakewold Gardens, after owning it for a brief time in 1938, and then later sold it to the Wagner’s.”

Irene commented on what she thinks of the showcase: “It is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the fall colors of the gardens while viewing these beautiful tables and celebrating the art of entertaining.” When asked the best thing about the showcase, Irene replied, “The showcase is a fundraiser that supports our mission to preserve and enhance Lakewold Gardens as a historic estate garden of world class distinction, offering each visitor an inspirational experience through growth and learning in a profound unique setting.”

Irene revealed a non-commonly known fact about the showcase, “The showcase originally started as a weekend event only in December of 1998.” When asked how this showcase was unique compared to others, Irene replied, “The event is unique in itself; how many table showcases do you know of? Because it showcases the inside of the Wagner house, visitors also get to see portions of the home not normally open to the public. I’ve only seen small showcases at local fairs, but nothing at this magnitude. The participation is higher here and we’ve made it work that way to where we coordinate the tables and get the most out of our space to allow the 32 tables that we have.”

When asked who she recommended attend the showcase, Irene replied, “Anybody; it’s nice for people to get ideas for entertaining and also in our Events Department, Susan Steen, activities and rentals manager lets brides know about the event so they can look at the tables and get ideas for their wedding. I also recommend people that do flower arranging and we’ve had a CloverPark instructor and her class do a flower arranging critique. This event is an educational tool and is used as a photo opportunity to take still pictures. The showcase gives entertaining ideas, is an educational tool, or an opportunity to bring your mother-in-law to visit and/or friends and family to visit the gardens.”

For more information about the showcase, please contact Irene at: 253 584-4106 ext. 109 or via email at: irusso@lakewoldgardens.org. “There’s a designer reception on Sunday, October 28, 2012 between 2 pm to 4 pm where there’s an opportunity to meet the designers,” Irene concluded.

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com

3 thoughts on “14th Annual Beautiful Tables Showcase – Celebrating the Art of Entertaining at Lakewold Gardens”

  1. What a fantastic event. And to get some really great ideas on flowers and table decorations. I’ll have to see if my friend wants to go to this. She loves flowers.

  2. This is a great event to get ideas for your everyday dining settting to an extravagant dinner party. Come enjoy a warm cup of apple cider as you
    view these unusual table settings by both novice and professional designers.

  3. I would hope they open specifically for Interior Decorators in Puget Sound which could enlarge the competition/contests in our area. Good article and unique perspectives we have not seen previously. This could also be a good fundraiser through Photography contests for color, compositions and lighting techniques. Just a thought.

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