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Best Theme Decor, Budget Above $50,000

Kentucky Department of Travel Frankfort, Kentucky A Greek and Roman mythology theme featuring Pegasus, the winged horse, highlighted the 1998 Kentucky Governor's Derby Eve Gala. Guests danced and dined in a tent where life-sized Pegasus horses flew overhead and Greek columns with pediments adorned the walls. Toga-clad musicians entertained, while toga-clad gods and goddesses handed out party favors. Before midnight, the bandleader rode a giant horseshoe to the top of the tent to release balloons and confetti, beginning a countdown to the Kentucky Derby.

Masterpiece Productions Newport Beach, California Masterpiece Productions turned a series of tents into a European casino by painting the interior to look like the Hotel de Paris Casino in Monte Carlo. A false ceiling was made of artist's canvas, hand-painted in gold to resemble a coffered ceiling and stretched inside the canopy top. Recessed panels concealed the lighting and chandeliers hung to light the interior. Walls were upholstered in gold and green damask stretched on frames. Antique furnishings and accessories finished off the tent's interior.

Mirage Events Las Vegas Twenty-five thousand yards of translucent fabric dressed ceilings and walls to create Bedouin tents during the 1998 New Year's Eve Gala at The Mirage. A tufted revolving platform became the stage for Arabian dancers, while 12 flying carpets swirled through the ceiling on tracks. Lighting projections dappled the inlaid jeweled dance floor and projected "1998" on the tented ceiling.

Richard Flowers & Associates Houston The 1998 Houston Grand Opera Ball was themed "Le Ball Oriental" and featured the French interpretation of Oriental design and culture. Murals showed Oriental themes painted in a Western style, much like those found in European homes in the late 18th century. Florals for the tables were French in style but topped with gold-leafed umbrellas from Thailand. Life-size Chinese warriors were stationed around the room. Guests entered through round, stone portals and red and gold Moon Gates, patterned after the palaces in the Forbidden City.

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