Parties past & present
With the celebration of the year comes a wealth of memories
By Mae Jacobson, Associate Editor | Photography by John Bang
Friday, December 6; 7 pm–1:30 am; Black tie
You’ll feel it before you see it, the electricity and ambience of Jubilee 90 tumbling down Sixth Avenue. Inside the WAC Clubhouse, decadent food, shimmering decor, live music, casino gambling—and, of course, a few surprises—await all who attend.
On Friday, December 6, the WAC’s anniversary gala returns, kicking off the Club’s 90th year and the holiday season. Jubilee 90 will be a night to cherish, the newest entry in a storied past of parties that date all the way back to 1930 and the Club’s grand opening.
For nine decades, Jubilee has provided a dazzling blur of special moments and treasured memories. Let’s look back at a few, each recalled with the sort of delight you might feel after finding a forgotten fifty in your best winter coat.
Welcome to the party!
“Jubilee is hands down the best event in Seattle. The crowd is always excited, inviting, and dressed to the hilt. It’s one of the only parties in the city where “black tie” still means something. After so many years, we have our plan dialed in. After check-in and introductions, we fill our plates with all the spectacular seafood. Then, we’re off to find great music, try our luck at the casino, and discover new surprises and offerings. It’s a great social time. I’ve met so many amazing members and guests.”
—Tim Emery Member since 2008
“I think my first year at Jubilee was in 2014. When I was single, I always found friends to go with, or I would bring nonmember guests. Now that I’m engaged, I go with my fiancé, Chris Miller. There aren’t many opportunities in Seattle to wear black tie, so we are always excited to get dressed up. Typically, we try to invite friends who aren’t members. Every year, new people are asking if they can come. It’s a must-attend event!”
–Mick Newell Member since 2012
“My husband, Dave, and I have been attending Jubilee for almost 20 years. Our first year we had no idea what to expect and didn’t know a single soul. We were immediately swept into the best party of our lives. I remember during one of our first years we sat down at a table with a woman who turned to us and said, “I just won the car!” Little did we know that Carese Busby would become one of our many treasured WAC friends. Nowadays, we stay at the Inn at the WAC on Jubilee night. We dress up in our finest and party away. We’ve also worked both sides of the blackjack tables and can’t decide which is more fun—gambling or dealing! Everyone is family on Jubilee night.”
–Vicki O’Briant Member since 1993
“I’ve been enjoying Jubilee since the 1980s, so I’ve seen it all! There’s been an amazing transformation that has taken place over the last two years. The party has been infused with a whole new life and energy unlike anything before. Five years ago, I started the tradition of bringing some former fraternity brothers and colleagues and their spouses as my guests. Everyone is always happy to ring in the holiday season. We enjoy food all night long and often end up in Torchy’s for breakfast after working up an appetite dancing. Then I spend the night at the Inn. I highly recommend it.”
–Doug Seto Member since 1980; Chairman of the Board, 2017–2018
“We haven’t missed a Jubilee since we joined! It’s a lovely excuse to dress up and get together with friends. My husband and I have a special tradition of making a detailed plan to try all the different food. There’s always so much to enjoy, and our action plan helps us make sure we get a taste of everything!”
–Hillary Brooks Member since 2016
“I’ve been attending Jubilee for almost 15 years. When I reminisce about Jubilees past, one thing remains the same—the pure joy of Jubilee from start to finish. Upon approach to the WAC, live music fills the air, inviting members and guests into the beautifully transformed Club. Bright and sparkly decorations adorn the Club, creating an elegant yet warm and festive atmosphere. The excitement of the party is palpable. Music, exceptional food, and dancing are some of the things I look forward to each year. There’s something for everyone at Jubilee. For me, it’s a chance to celebrate with friends and enjoy the company of fellow WAC members during the best anniversary party of the year.”
–Jennifer Porto Member since 2004
“I’m probably considered a newbie, having started attending in 2013. I’ll never forget being astounded by the WAC’s transformation that evening. I reserved a suite at the Inn at the WAC and invited five guests to join me. We all enjoyed a magical evening of food, dancing and gambling. Since then, I’ve volunteered as a craps dealer in the Crystal Casino. It’s a truly exhilarating experience!”
–Jennifer Olegario Member since 2013
“Jubilee marks the beginning of the holidays for our family. My husband, Len, and I always book a room at the Inn for the night. We love watching the grand prize announcement. I still hope it will be me someday! The highlight of the evening is the Crystal Casino. We end our celebration with breakfast in Torchy’s. My one tip is to wear comfortable shoes. I’ll always remember when I overheard someone say, “My feet feel so much better now that they’ve gone numb from dancing!””
–Dail Bodziony Member since 2007
“Jubilee is the No. 1 WAC celebration my wife, Michelle, and I mark on our calendar. Whether you come with a significant other or go solo, you’re going to meet new people, laugh, and enjoy the best opportunity of the year to dress up and let go! The decor is always off the charts and there’s amazing food, great music, and gambling. Even if gaming isn’t your thing, it’s worth feeling the electricity at the tables in the Crystal Casino. WAC member leaders, the party planners, and team members do a wonderful job making the night a memorable and unique experience. What’s there not to love?!”
–Jason Hamilton Member since 2011
—Mae Jacobson is WAC Magazine Associate Editor. Contact her at email@example.com.
As published in the November/December 2019 issue of WAC Magazine
—Posted Thursday, October 23