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Charlestonians followed the yellow brick road to one incredible Oz-themed fete at the Old Jail on Thursday, October 25 for the annual Red Party. The statuesque building was illuminated with dramatic red lighting and a wicked witch milled about to greet guests. Partygoers entered what is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in the United States via a long corridor, which was illuminated to look like The Wizard of Oz’s infamous yellow brick road. Once on the other side, partygoers were greeted with red pomegranate shooters and a view of the “over the rainbow” themed dance floor, where local band the V-tones played in monkey masks. 

Dorothys, Cowardly Lions, Scarecrows, and Tinmen milled about, checking out the oversized pair of Wicked Witch legs protruding from beneath the jail before moving on to check out the silent auction. The VIP section offered Oz-themed snacks, such as Over the Rainbow rolls from Oku, Wicked ‘Wiches from Oak, and the humorously named fritters, “Flying Monkey Orbs” from The Macintosh. Hom and Jack’s Cosmic Dogs also offered up some delicious snacks, and costumed revelers ate their fill while mingling and ogling each other’s costumes.

While The Wizard of Oz really has a limited number of characters, partygoers managed to showcase a plethora of creative costumes. An enormous husk of corn and several yellow brick roads milled about, and a couple flying monkeys could be spotted in the crowd. The huge hit of the night, however, was the full body tornado suit worn by one creative guest. A pregnant Dorothy - who had “rolled in the hay with the scarecrow” had everyone laughing, and several creative revelers came as the city itself. There were, of course, plenty of guests dressed as Dorothy and her entourage, and as Popeye, a she-devil, a gnome, and what appeared to be a zombie cat were also in attendance at the party, it seems Oz may have some lesser known residents. 

Regardless, everyone took part in the silent auction before hitting the dance floor. Partygoers boogied the night away, and clouds of smoke burst into the rainbow-themed tent to form a surreal atmosphere. Finally, another fabulous Red Party drew to a close, and revelers reluctantly made their way from Oz to the Charleston streets.

The Red Party is the annual fundraiser for the American College of the Building Arts. The American College of the Building Arts was founded in 2004 in response to the national lack of master craftsmen. The ACBA is devoted to educating and training artisans in the building arts, and it encourages and fosters the preservation and enrichment of the world’s architectural heritage.