After a decade and a half, most know how to behave and what to expect at Atlanta’s biggest, gayest holiday soiree. But just in case, here are some details on Saturday’s annual Toy Party at Americas Mart, plus some reminders for all your cocktail parties throughout the year.
There’s a good reason that the annual Toy Party & Silent Auction is a standard bearer. Two in fact: Everyone is welcome, and everyone matters. Organizers For The Kid In All Of Us put it right in their name: All. Of. Us.
Remember that, and you’re more than halfway to enjoying open bars, live performances, a silent auction, DJ beats, and if you choose, a VIP experience that presses the Upgrade button on your life.
Here are a few other pointers to get in on the fun and keep it classy.
This is not a kegger
Is there a guy in a baseball cap at the door offering you a red Solo cup in exchange for $10? No. That’s clue No. 1. Instead, there are dressed-up people with For The Kid insignia accepting unwrapped toys and gift cards for needy children.
Also, there are enough drinks for everybody at the sponsored bars, so double-fisting brews like it’s halftime at a football game makes you the Toy Party mess. Don’t be that guy.
Play dress up
Whatever the invitations say, the real dress code is Cocktail Party Fabulous. You’ll see it all. Jeans and suits. Santa hats and velvet jackets. Drag and tuxes. Evening gowns, sweaters and fake fur.
Toy Party calls for your own interpretation of your best holigay self. Check out theqatl.com for galleries from years past for hints, then just go for it.
Regular, Unleaded and Super
Everyone who brings a toy or gift card and pays the admission enjoys everything we’ve already mentioned. Of course, that incudes the silent auction with prizes from art to trips and beyond.
But how does For The Kid continues to up Toy Party attendance and its contributions to Georgia kids? Extras. The VIP Experience includes private bars, upper level access overlooking the event, swag, premium cocktails and bites, plus VIP cabanas. You can also pay extra for the Ultra Lounge with private tables and dedicated bars.
You can’t keep up with the Kardashians
Just as inappropriate as treating the place like a frat house is acting like there are E! cameras following you. There aren’t. While you strike poses with your hand on your hip and head slightly tilted, you’re not just uninteresting but missing the party.
The Project Q and Q magazine crew and other professional photographers will happily snap your photo, but don’t stalk them. They’re working, and literally thousands of other guests want their moments (and outfits) captured as well.
Speaking of stalking…
Toy Party often attracts notable guests. Don’t be one of the people strategically positioned five feet from them so you can sweep in before anyone else can approach. There’s no harm in networking, but handle yourself so that no one feels like alerting the authorities.
If you can’t get an introduction, do not follow the person around like a toddler in need of a diaper change. Wait for a good time, which is never in the restroom by the way.
Kate Middleton wants her crown back
Toy Party is about the kids, not about you. Say hello, mix and mingle with VIPs and commoners alike. No one likes a snob, so check the Hollywood attitude at the door. Get over yourself, because everyone else will be if you don’t.
Don’t overstay your welcome. It’s always a good idea to be out the door before the last drink is poured. You may not turn into anyone’s pumpkin, but you certainly won’t be anyone’s Cinderella if you’re lurking late.
Toy Party shuts it down at 11:30 p.m. The Toy Party Afterparty at Ten starts at 10 p.m. Get the picture? Make plans in advance about when you’ll make a graceful exit.
Toy Party 2017 takes place on Saturday, December 2 at Amercasmart 3. Visit forthekid.org.
A version of this article originally appeared in Q Magazine. Read the whole issue below.