The Swansons’ 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Part Two

Liz and Clarke Swanson’s 50th anniversary celebrations began on Thursday with a private concert at Preservation Hall, a second-line to Napoleon House and a beautiful cocktail buffet and dancing. The next night was a spectacular dinner and dancing at the iconic restaurant Arnaud’s. When you looked at your invitation, guests were encouraged to wear “over the moon” ball gowns for the ladies and “black tie (with a twist)” for the gentlemen. The flowers were by beloved Dunn & Sonnier.

As guests entered the Count’s Room at Arnaud’s, a gospel choir serenaded everyone and were greeted by Elizabeth and Clarke. The dancing began immediately with Julio & César playing Cuban songs that made everyone get out on the dance floor. The best part of the celebration is that their whole family attended: Alexis and Trevor Traina; Veronica and Jamie Beard; and Claiborne and James Frank, along with all of their children who danced at every event!

The six-course dinner was served impeccably with a different Swanson wine served with each course, with flaming baked Alaska for dessert!

Many of you have visited the Swanson Vineyard in Oakville, California, and have loved their exquisite wines. We used the Swanson wine bottles, filled with flowers, the next night at Rock ’n’ Bowl.

Sunday was the Swamp Tour in Jean Lafitte in bayou country! Like the previous events I talked about in my last column, Pamela Pipes planned the whole weekend. Buses picked guests up at 9:45 a.m. and they were told to wear “Gator Friendly” blue jeans and sneakers, sun guard and hats.

We had a wonderful tour with our guide, Anson, and saw alligators in the bayou and even saw where they filmed ideas for the Princess and the Frog. We then arrived at Restaurant de Families in Crown Point and were greeted by a Cajun band, and were served trays with boiled crawfish, crabs, shrimp, mini fried shrimp and oyster and roast beef poboys.

What an end to a four-day anniversary celebration of Elizabeth and Clarke Swanson, which concluded with “au revoir mes amies!”, complete with a heart!