Other than the annual Kentucky Reggae Festival, Louisville doesn’t have the opportunity to experience much of the Caribbean island life. Thanks to event planner, Nia Anderson, that has changed.
On Saturday August 8, 2015, Anderson’s event planning company, Orchards of Elegance, hosted the 2015 Caribbean Wine Festival at the Broad Run Vineyards in Louisville, Ky.
The atmosphere surrounding the festival was outstanding. For a $15 advance ticket or $20 admission at the door, patrons were given a souvenir wine glass and four (4) event tickets. Each ticket could be used to sample a wine of the patrons choice.
Broad Run Vineyards is located at 10601 Broad Run Rd in Louisville, Ky and the vineyard produces over twenty (20) signature wines on their 72 acre estate which also includes a 8000 square foot winery and tasting room.
Catering was provided by the local restaurants: Roof Top Grill, which specializes in “Authentic Jamaican Cuisine”, and the Louisville Vegan Kitchen. Both catering companies provided excellent menu items featuring Caribbean cuisine for reasonable prices.
Anderson chose a Caribbean theme for this particular event because her fiance is from the islands. Since residing in Louisville she discovered that the city doesn’t offer many entertainment venues for its residents of Caribbean descent, so she decided to address the void.
“My fiance is from Barbados and I have friends that are from Jamaica and Trinidad so that sparked the idea of hosting a Caribbean themed event. I was surprised at the positive response I got once I started the planning. Once I posted my advertisements online and on event sites I had someone contact me all the way from Chicago that wanted to participate…I also had a vendor from Atlanta inquiring about available space.” – Nia Anderson
On August 8, 2015, close to 200 guests visited Broad Run Vineyards to experience Anderson’s version of Caribbean life in Louisville. Party-goers from as far as St. Louis and Cincinnati converged on Louisville for the day to partake in the festivities.
Guests seemed to thoroughly enjoy the wine tasting and the multiple vendor booths that were setup throughout the venue. One of the highlights of the event was the Reggae band Zion Albert & the Yard Squad Band which hails from St. Louis, Missouri.
“I was particularly excited about the band that was coming to play because this is the last card for the lead singer before he travels to Jamaica to sign with the Marley’s” -Nia Anderson
Ronaldo Toussaint, a native of Trinidad currently living in Louisville said, “This was the best Caribbean party that I’ve attended since living in the states. The food, music and atmosphere is definitely that of the islands.”
Anderson is a native of Baltimore, MD and has relocated to Louisville within the past year. She has been an event planner for the past two years and the 2015 Caribbean Festival is the second event that Orchids of Elegance has hosted since operating in Louisville.
Event planning is an occupation that was somewhat forced upon Anderson. Initially she was unsure if she wanted to burden the responsibility of creating the perfect reality for potential customers but once she began planning her first event, she realized that she was a natural and quickly fell in love with the business.
“Back home I was in college and I started bartending…I was promoted to event coordinator at that establishment so that’s how I got my start planning events…I hosted a Maudi Gras themed party as well as a Mother’s Day surprise party. After planning those events, I knew that I was built for this.” – Nia Anderson
A short time later Anderson established Orchids of Elegance: Event Planning & Bartender Services, whose slogan is “Let us make your vision a vibrant reality, and your reality an unforgettable memory.”
The company’s first event in Louisville was the “Derby Health and Wellness Workshop” in May 2015, which reflects her passion of healthy living. In addition to her event planning business Anderson plans to collaborate with local schools and develop programs that encourage healthy eating and exercise habits.
“I want to reach out to the schools because everything starts with kids. If you don’t have a good foundation as far as eating habits, exercise habits and things like that, you will go through life eating whatever, doing whatever and then by the time you are 21, you find out that you have diabetes and high blood pressure…So I want to honestly initiate a program, starting with elementary schools or maybe even middle schools where some type of activities like field days are established so that kids will learn what they are really supposed to have.” -Nia Anderson
Be on the lookout for future events hosted by Orchids of Elegance, as Anderson is quickly earning the reputation of becoming one of Louisville’s premier event planners.
Orchids of Elegance also hosts parties for weddings, graduations, retirements, birthdays and numerous other events.
Anderson can be contacted at (762) 218-2611. By email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit the Orchids of Elegance website at http://www.orchidsofelegance.com/ and also *Like* the Orchids of Elegance Facebook page.
2015 Caribbean Wine Festival Sponsors: