Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kraken Rum Launch Party Premiere at The Shedd Aquarium

Above Photo: Ryan M. Beshel

Thursday, January 21, 2010:

Platinum Events produced an outstanding event to launch Kraken Rum, the newest black spiced rum to hit the Chicago market. Search lights shot beams of white into the sky, as we followed their lead to the sprawling steps of the Shedd Aquarium. Once inside, I said hello to friend and CEO of Platinum Events, Justin Jacobson. (Justin is the kind of guy that makes you feel like the only person at the party--and to give you an idea: there were about 600 people in the room and over 1500 showed up throughout the course of the evening.) We walked the red carpet, grabbed a shot of Kraken from the waiting server, and passed by a gentleman dressed in a diver costume. (I later talked with "Scuba Steve" and he told me it was really hot inside that costume, but he was happy to have the ladies all over him.)

Photos: 1. Kraken Rum Bottle (courtesy of Tyler Curtis: DarkroomDemons.com) 2. Shedd Aquarium (courtesy of Tyler Curtis: DarkroomDemons.com) 3. "Scuba Steve" w/Justin Jacobson and the ladies (Photo from: ChicagoNow: Shots in the Dark)

The Kraken Rum logo was projected in white on the massive wall above us. The branding of the bottle, the label, and the event was dead-on. I took a walk by myself to get a real sense of the party and what the crowd was like. Of course, I grabbed a drink (to cool off my stomach, which was instantly warmed by the earlier shot as we entered the event) and began my people-watching. The early crowd was an older, dressed in suits, ladies on arm kind of scene. I certainly stuck out like a sore thumb with my bowtie and short sleeves (though, I hardly minded). The Shedd Aquarium's tanks on the main floor were open for all of us to peruse and I joined my friends to do just that. While drinking our Kraken Rum, we watched an array of sharks, sting rays, and fish (bigger than your car) swim around the massive tank--such a great experience. I remember thinking, "What could be better than this?"

Photos: Ryan M. Beshel

In emails prior to the event, Justin had had told me about the 7-foot wall that was going to be set-up in the space with the Kraken logo gleaming through a steady stream of white fog. A fog wall?! I couldn't believe how fantastic that was (nor could I have guessed what it actually would have looked like before I saw it.) DJ Slym kept us moving all night and when the Platinum Dancers showed up to do a few back-flips and get the crowd going, we all knew we had experienced something special.

Photos: 1. The DJ's: (Photo courtesy of Tyler Curtis: DarkroomDemons.com) 2. The Platinum Dancers (Photo courtesy of Tyler Curtis: DarkroomDemons.com) 3. The Kraken Fog Wall (Photo by Ryan M. Beshel)

As the night rolled on, the crowd became younger and younger. Chicago's hippest, most-connected industry individuals joined the scene and the party was in full swing. Notables included Cameron Croft, Amanda Puck, Ginger Zee, and a few up and coming fashion industry icons, aka: The Electric Eels, Freaks, CKC, etc. I'd like to send a special "thank you" to my gorgeous friend, Kelli Zink, who was so sweet and took a few minutes to chat it up with me (and compliment my outfit, which I clearly did not mind;) Being in the entertainment business with so many egos can often rub-off on you, but I'm convinced Kelli will always be personable, humble, and sweet as can be--even though she is as fabulous as she is. (So, thanks KZ, you looked stunning as well...)

Photos: 1. Joan Kittredge, Justin Jacobson, and Ryan M. Beshel (Photo from: ChicagoNow: Shots in the Dark) 2. Kraken Logo and event crowd (Photo By: Ryan M. Beshel) 3. Omar Diaz, Chad Green, and Noelle Moreno (courtesy of Tyler Curtis: DarkroomDemons.com)

Around 11:30p.m., my guests and I were ready to venture off to explore the rest of our Chicago evening. As we reached the Shedd Aquarium parkway, Callie (the fabulous) jokingly hailed us a cab--which was actually a limo. We all caught up with her only to find out that she had secured us a ride home in said limo for $5 a person! We immediately agreed to take the deal and within seconds, we were cruising down Michigan Avenue towards our next destination. (What a perfect way to leave such a fabulous event!)

We stopped at Paige's house before heading off to the Cobra Lounge to finish the night with a PBR in hand and the sounds of James Brown tribute band, Get Up With The Get Downs. (Nothing is better than a cheap beer and some ass-shaking after a swanky party.) Once the band had played their last funky cover, I hopped in a cab back to my beloved Pilsen...

Photos: Ryan M. Beshel

Thank you to Justin Jacobson for out-doing yourself once again!....Kelli Zink, we are dating now, like it or not!.....Thank you, Neo--our limo driver!.....Callie, Paige, Tony, Omar, Noelle, Chad, Heather, Joan, and Maureen: you were clearly the hottest and most fabulous bunch prancing around the Shedd last Thursday!

...and to all of you: Thanks for reading and be sure to check back soon for more!

Still swooning from such a great event,


Ryan M. Beshel (below)
Photo: Courtesy of Tyler Curtis: DarkroomDemons.com
Search lights outside of the Shedd Aquarium. Photo: Ryan M. Beshel
The Kraken bus! Photo: Ryan M. Beshel
The corridor aquarium. Photo: Ryan M. Beshel
Best city in the world, Chicago! Photo: Ryan M. Beshel
Heather & Callie in the limo on Michgian Ave. Photo: Ryan M. Beshel

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