Planning for Formal with KCAB

Jameosn Filston, Campus Carrier Arts & Living Editor

Berry’s  The “City of Stars” themed Formal took place at The Forum Civic Center last Saturday. The event, based on the Oscar-winning movie “La La Land,” represented the combined efforts of all  members of the KCAB staff.

Krista Zalewski, a senior and the president of KCAB, has been working in the organization since her freshman year and has seen a lot of change in the event. The structure of formal depends on the theme and what students want from the dance.

“It’s a different event every year,” Zalewski said. “The theme allows for more creativity.”

The staff makes arrangements such as the venue and the DJ up to a year in advance, but smaller decisions such as decorations and refreshments are made anywhere from a month before the event to when they start setting up for the dance.

Choosing the theme was a big way to get students involved in the planning process. The KCAB staff sent out a poll in February that offered three themes from which students chose one. The choices were brainstormed in meetings, and were “Midnight in Paris,” “City of Stars” and “A Night Undercover.”

Formal is a full board event, so all 17 KCAB employees divided into four teams to take on each area. These teams focused on the specific areas like t-shirts, refreshments and photo booth, among others, and worked together to create a consistent atmosphere at the venue. 

The team that carried the theme was the food and centerpiece committee. Alex Beato, a sophomore and a first-time KCAB staff member, was on the team. The team worked to make centerpieces for the tables in addition to providing movie-themed snacks and mocktails. 

The team based these drinks on songs and themes from the movie, such as “Another Day of Sun” and The Planetarium. They even had chicken nuggets on toothpicks because the original name for Seb’s, the jazz club from “La La Land,” was Chicken on a Stick.

Senior Katelyn Devos worked on the t-shirts and the lounge area. They made designs for t-shirts and presented them to all the KCAB members who voted for the design winner. They decided to sell the t-shirts at a reduced price. The biggest challenge was deciding a t-shirt color.

Devos said that the event was different for her because her jobs took place weeks before the event instead of making decisions the day of the formal. However, this did not change the amount of pressure, only when it arrived.

“The stress was just at a different time,” Devos said. 

T-shirts were not the only committee that had to make style decisions. Zalewski and her team were in charge of the photo booth area and lobby decor. About a month before the event, they began to shop for supplies and make decorations, and they later set up these items on the day of the event.

 Zalewski said Formal is not funded with money from the student activities fee, but instead relies on ticket sales to fund its efforts. The ticket sales cover the total budget for the event, and extra funds are rolled over to the next year. 

The money from Formal tickets goes only to Formal. For this reason, they try to sell tickets before the event. They budget based on the number of students they think will show up, and make a conservative estimate of the money they can spend on the event. This year, the jazzy décor, DJ and other expenses cost KCAB around $9,000.

Leave a Reply