I LIKE the word enchanted. It conjures up images of magic, charm and delight.
And that's exactly what guests experienced at the first Enchanted Ball held last year on the banks of the Maraetotara River.
Guests had no idea where the event was to be held and again this year the location is top secret.
Feedback from the inaugural ball has been "phenomenal", says manager of Etiquette Greg Howie, who along with Patch and Ted fromThe Flagship Events Company, plan and run the event.
This year it's raising money to support Te Mata Park.
"The first year was a test for us, to see if it was an event the Hawke's Bay market would react too," Greg says. "It was a tough sell first time around with having no imagery, selling an event at a secret location where no one has any idea what is going to happen. But thankfully it was a huge success and we have had such great feedback that it is now going to be an annual event.
"We are doing the event in support of Te Mata Park for the One Giant Chance land purchase the trust is working towards. It is really important to us to give back to Hawke's Bay, and Te Mata Park is a place that is close to us. I regularly use the park for recreational purposes.
"We think the park is the jewel in Hawke's Bay's crown. It is a landmark with a significant and commanding presence. It has outstanding geological, ecological, recreational, spiritual and cultural significance to the region.
"We are donating by way of a live auction, silent auctions of which we have secured some amazing experiences to auction off. Also through donation by Etiquette and The Flagship Events Company. Guests can also make a donation to the park when they purchase tickets, which a lot of people have kindly been doing.
"We wanted to create an event which is primarily experience focused. "The journey starts from when guests get on the kindly donated Nimons buses, the excitement starts to build as people start guessing where they are being taken. We work really hard to find a secret location that 99 per cent of guests will have never seen before, which adds to their experience on the night.
"From there the journey of the evening really begins.
"The Enchanted Ball encompasses the best of local and national musical talent and performances including Jonny Avery, Shaun Preston, Cool Kids Club and more to be announced, coupled with the best of local catering from The Good Table, Mamacita and Piku. "It is worth noting we move away from the traditional ball style of catering with a seated dinner, into a more social form of dining where guests can graze on the delicious fare throughout the evening.
"We have an outstanding selection of beverages, most of which have sponsored through Three Wise Birds Cider, Pak'nSave Hastings and Independent Breweries. "There is a range of entertainment and performances which are designed to tantalise the senses of the guests as the night rolls out."
The event is weather protected, as the company is donating the use of the Sperry Tents which will be covering the event.
"We say the dress code is black tie, which is one of the murkier dress codes. Men can wear either a tux or suit and women can go towards a long dress or cocktail-type number. We think the best way to sum this up is to say, dress to impress," Greg said.
"We have had the most amazing support from local businesses who have really got behind this event. Without them, it simply could not go ahead. "I would like to thank them all for their generous support, especially our Platinum Partner Nic&Cole."
Tickets sales have exceeded the organisers' expectations with about 70 per cent of tickets already snapped up.
"Given that everyone is being bused in by Nimons and bused out again, we are limited to the amount of tickets we can sell to the event, so once it is sold out there will be no more tickets released.
"Join us for a truly unique experience at Hawke's Bay's premier boutique event, supporting Hawke's Bay's greatest natural asset, Te Mata Park."
The Enchanted Ball
Supporting Te Mata Park. Presented by Etiquette and The Flagship Events Company.
When: Saturday, April 6.
Where: Secret location.
More info: www.enchantedball.co.nz, www.facebook.com/etiquetteeventsnz