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Behind the Scenes / ORANGE COUNTY

A Feast for the Eyes

November 26, 1998

Everybody wanted a feast, and that's just what they got at the Carnaval! Masked Ball for the Arts held Friday at the Huntington Beach Art Center.

Roast pig, basted in lime juice and stuffed with fruit, dominated the banquet tables, along with chicken made with adobo and other Caribbean dishes, catered by Habana restaurant in Costa Mesa.

"It was a feast, and that's because 'Feast' was the original name of the event," says Randy Pesqueira, one of the center's longtime event organizers.

This year, Pesqueira did double duty, also serving as official king of the carnival.

What did he like best about that job? Pesqueira says he got a kick out of pounding a staff on the floor and startling guests with a loud "The feast has been served."

And how did he get the gig? Perhaps by serving as event chairman?

"No, it was only because I had a crown. It was about a foot high with glitter, faux jewelry and sparkling garlands and curlicues--a work of art."

Many of the 150 guests arrived elaborate costumes. Masks were different too; some attendees painted their faces. All blended easily into the creatively decorated environment developed by the center staff.

"We're all artists, [so] we pulled together and came up with wild ideas to help everyone have a good time," Pesqueira says. "For the walls, there were big masks that represented different moods, from animated to somber. Gracing the ceilings were 7-foot-high balloons that were painted with magical faces."

Even the drinks, in shades of red, green and blue, were on the arty side. "We wanted it to be colorful every where you looked, down to the cocktails," Pesqueira says.

Proceeds from the event will be used for center programming. (714) 374-1650.

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