Mystery was on the menu Saturday night when the La Traviata and Madame Butterfly chapters of the Huntington Harbour guild of the Performing Arts Center staged Masquerade Carnival. The event was held at Le Meridien in Newport Beach.
Guests bid on auction items, competed in a costume contest and danced the night away, stopping occasionally to sample a groaning board of gourmet treats. By the time the confetti and balloons were cleared, the center was $25,000 richer. The affair drew a record 250 guests. Hostess to Spanish senoritas, Keystone Kops, pirates and traditionally dressed guests hiding behind masks was Mary Busche, reservations chairman.
Guest Carolyn Noring and husband Harold spent most of the night puppy-sitting a spaniel up for auction. The almost perfectly behaved puppy found a home with guests Sharon and Ken Walker. The couple bid $275.
Judges selected Don and Jeanie Barnett, who dressed as Jean Harlow and Clark Gable, best couple. Most creative went to "sea goddess" Sandra Clouse, who wore a gold lame gown and matching hat decorated with exotic shells. Husband Robert came as a devil. Sandra said they represented "the devil and the deep blue sea."