Big party, Fire theme, lots of $$$
January 11, 2013 8:40 PM   Subscribe

Ok, so in a alt-history type world, roughly 1950s tech, how would you decorate for a big party with the theme of Fire?

Big, formal party will be held at a mansion, big gardens, fountain, black marble floor in the main ballroom. No computers, yes airplanes, yes halfway decent movies. General societal attitude is Wild West/Gentlemanly lawlessness and Adventure! Budget is huge, like million dollar or more. I probably want to light the fountain on fire, and probably some sort of miniature torches in the ballroom; maybe some firefly (the insect, not the show :D) mood lighting in the garden, but what else?

Tiki torches are right out (too sissyfied). Tasteful things like luminaris would work for parts of the party, but i also want cool fire effects and, well, manliness (and Adventure!)

So, light this party on fire, hive mind!
posted by Jacen to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hire a fire eater or two?
posted by xingcat at 8:42 PM on January 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would do large scale fire art like you see at Burning Man - something like this. All this is doable with 1950s tech.
posted by pombe at 8:55 PM on January 11, 2013

Along with fire eaters there are fire twirlers for example
posted by edgeways at 9:24 PM on January 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Retrofit for gaslight
posted by edgeways at 9:27 PM on January 11, 2013

Fans blowing red/yellow/orange sheets of fabric from below, with appropriate lighting, can create a pretty cool and safe flame effect. eg
posted by robcorr at 10:15 PM on January 11, 2013

Old fashioned chandelier with a ton of candles as the hanging central feature of the ballroom with the body of the chandelier being something manly like wrought iron?
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:25 PM on January 11, 2013

You need this guy. He's based in CA, but his work is one of a kind.
posted by Gusaroo at 11:56 PM on January 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: How about some sort of decorative flames effect done with radioactive glow-in-the-dark paint like Undark because they haven't figured out why Marie Curie died yet?

Also, various effects using colored fire.

Did the flamethrower get invented in the 19th century in your timeline and used extensively in WWI? If not, maybe the inventor could show up and give a demonstration. Thermite is another early 20th-century technology that might provide appropriate entertainment.
posted by XMLicious at 1:20 AM on January 12, 2013

Check out the Waterfire Festival in Providence for ideas, as well as people wire fire expertise.

I would have lots of outdoor cauldrons of fire at table height or higher, not just low. Perhaps vertical bundles of long birch logs for decoration, and definitely some outdoor camp-/ bon-fires for cooking haunches of meat. People like to poke fires, so let guests add wood and tend fires. We have bonfires in the back yard (firepit) and people love cooking pieces of kielbasa on the fire. Would work with marinated steak, pre-cooked potatoes, skewers of mushrooms, peppers, cauliflower, etc.

Have you ever played lemmings? The flameshooters that cycle on would be amazing, with a great sound. As a centerpiece to the evening, a burning-man style bonfire of a structure. Wandering fire artists. In my area, there are fire jugglers who perform at local parks, and they're really entertaining.

Talk to some stage craft professionals. Search for fire stage effects. You could also go steampunk.
posted by theora55 at 9:56 AM on January 14, 2013

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