A Seattle Soirée

Peeking back at the WAC’s biggest bash—Jubilee!

By Mae Jacobson, Associate Editor

Discover this year’s big bash.

A good party never dies. Beautiful dress, treasured company, and wonderful entertainment create lasting memories of laughter, friendship and festivity. Jubilee, the WAC’s anniversary party, is no exception. That’s why we’ve been at it since 1931.

Admittedly, the gathering was a little more modest back then—$2.50 got you a night of dinner and dancing that first year—but the spirit of the gala hasn’t changed. Take a look back on the history of Jubilee and you’ll see a community of members coming together to honor a club that has shaped Seattle as surely as the Space Needle or single tall lattes.

The WAC celebrated its early years amid the Great Depression. Despite the country’s worst financial downturn, the Club managed to throw a birthday party for its dedicated members. Early-day Jubilees—or “Anniversary Dances”—gave members a chance to enjoy food, drinks, and good company. By 1936, organizers had adopted the name Jubilee and began giving out prizes such as radios and war bonds.

As the Club grew, so did the party. During the post–World War II boom of the early 1950s, prize packages included extravagances such as television sets and outboard boat motors. While the men of the WAC enjoyed one party, the women attended “Jubilette.”

Entertainment highlights through the years have included The Kingsmen of “Louie Louie” fame; The Paris Sisters, who hit No. 5 on the charts with “I Love How You Love Me;” and jazz sax great James Moody.

In 1979, Jubilee and Jubilette united, and five years later a Mercedes-Benz debuted as the party’s grand prize.

“Members love the excitement of a grand prize drawing,” says Director Member Services Amanda Brynn, who is part of the team organizing this year’s Jubilee. “Witnessing the feat of getting the car into the lobby builds anticipation for the party.”

This year’s Mercedes-Benz will be on display in the lobby through November.

The party opened to members’ guests in 1993, and five years later more than 1,100 attendees, an all-time record, enjoyed the festivities.

“The crowd is always dressed to the nines,” says Club Programs Senior Event Manager Mary Ellen Jilek, who is helping shape the look and plan the entertainment this year. “Members love celebrating the Club’s anniversary and welcoming the holiday season. And everyone enjoys partying their way through three floors of entertainment, food and cocktails.”

Jubilee is also the ideal time to show off the WAC—seasonal decorations, live music, delicious food, casino gambling, and plenty of refreshments often leave guests awestruck.

“We love to see guests enjoying the party, too,” Amanda says. “There’s really no better way to experience the WAC for the first time than to step into the grandeur that is Jubilee.”

As published in the November/December 2017 issue of WAC Magazine

—Posted October 30, 2017

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