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Masquerade Party At Coe Hall A Smashing Success

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, many in costume, a new addition to the popular event. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date, Daphne, a 3-month-old long-haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”

Showing off Daphne’s spotted collar, Joyce commented, “She is a Greek Goddess masquerading as a Dalmatian.”

Then he showed off his rhinestone rings that he made and laughed, “And I’m Elton John.”

“The purpose of the masquerade is that it is fanciful. This house is built in a fanciful style and looks like it is 400 years old, but it’s not. The gardens here pretend to be English gardens, but they are on Long Island so there are all of these themes of wanting or wishing to be someone you are not; that’s why it is nice to wear a mask. You can be who ever you want to be.”

Just then the Raciborski family arrived. There was Ania from Locust Valley sporting angel wings, looking very much like a Victoria’s Secret model. Glen Cove Raciborskis Greg and Catherine were dressed as Mozart and a peacock.

“We love coming here every year because it is a wonderful way to spend the evening strolling around the gardens and the mansion,” said Catherine, waving her peacock fan and showing off her gems. “Tonight I am a peacock because I wanted to be the belle of the ball, and my husband is Mozart—but some people think he is George Washington.”

Barbara Mayer-Roberts of Mill Neck chose this event to celebrate her 75th birthday, alongside her husband Stewart, in a cowboy hat.  

As champagne corks popped, guests mingled around the buffet table adorned with flowers. Silver chaffing dishes were filled with shrimp, crab legs and every type of hors d’oeuvre. Guests sat down at tables decorated with hot pink and zebra cloths, a nod to their new exhibit.

Jessica Vandenburg from California and Glen Cove resident Grace Acati, originally from Mexico, have nourished a friendship at the gardens. Vandenburg, an artist, was painting there one day when Acati came by. They struck up a conversation and have been best friends ever since.  

“This is fabulous. I love the outdoors and the architecture,” Acati said.

Next to the loggia was an outdoor tent complete with a dance floor, a DJ and a band. They heated up the night with great music and a saxophone player coaxed everyone on to the dance floor.

Wiping the sweat from his brow, Maurice Jauredui of Locust Valley, celebrating his 47th birthday, concluded, “This party is always a rocking good time!”