Today it was New Years Eve 2013, at this time of year when the Park is closed to visitors myself and the rest of the animals still like to have a little bit of fun. I remember last year I had been given the very important responsibility of organising the evenings entertainment for the entire Park. I had started preparing for this huge extravagant party at the end of the summer and I had to make sure everything was ready in time for my guests arriving at 8 pm.
Many of the girls in the Park went off to the hairdressers to get fancy hairdos done and have their nails manicured for the night. Smart dinner suits and crisp white shirts were ironed in the laundry room by the rats, Templeton and Rizzo. They were experts at costume presentation and enjoyed dressing all the animals smartly on nights like these.
As dusk fell about 4 pm, I wandered around the Park switching on all the Christmas tree lights, it looked wonderful, like a magical twinkling fairyland. The party was held in the Park restaurant, all the tables and chairs had been moved to the edge to create a large area for a dance floor. A special stage had been built by the otters, Frank, Sammy and Dean for the nights visiting jazz band. Our entertainment guests, were a fabulous bunch who travelled all the way down from London by train.
I popped on my dinner jacket and bow tie, combed my hair and then had a little taster of the Bucks Fizz which had been prepared by Cookie, the Kookaburra, who was in charge of serving drinks. Cookie was able to create the most delicious cocktails of tantalising tastes and flavours.
The guests began to arrive dressed in glamorous glitter costumes, bringing with them plates of fancy party food as contributions towards the grand party buffet. The rich smell of steamed Christmas pudding covered in brandy drifted through the air and melted away as you moved down the table towards the savoury snacks of smoked salmon on buttered brown bread triangles and cocktail sausages presented on a plate in the shape of a Christmas tree. The food looked and tasted absolutely delicious!!
Alfie and Willis, the black pigs had been selling raffle tickets for the past few weeks before the party and that night the grand prize was revealed, it was a reservation for two at a luxury hotel in the West Wight with a gourmet dinner and champagne followed by a day in the hotel spa. What a treat!
As the evening went on, the dance floor filled and all the Park animals whirled around to the wonderful jazz music. The band was truly amazing, all of the penguins playing were enormoursly talented and they seemed to be having as much fun as all of us on what was a wonderful night.
As midnight approached, tall glasses filled with sparkling champagne were passed around to each guest, so that everyone had one to hold in their flippers, wings or paws for the countdown – 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. As the restaurant clock’s hands reached the number twelve we all joined in together and shouted ‘Happy New Year’ followed by a ‘Hip, Hip, Horray’ Cheer!!!