Afterglow of Ball Carnaval

Date:    Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Newport’s polo season reached its social climax of the summer with Ball Carnaval, the Newport Polo Club's 15th annual International Polo Charity Ball on Friday, August 7 at Rosecliff, one of Newport’s famed Bellevue Avenue mansions.

Generous and fun-loving attendees turned out in Brazilian Carnaval-inspired Black Tie for a night of exquisite food, dancing to a band worthy of ovations, and heart-warming philanthropy, to welcome guests of honor, the Brazilian polo team and gala beneficiary Roger Williams Park Zoo, raising nearly $18,000 towards a new Tropical Rain Forest Building project underway this year.

Feathers, dazzling colors and artful balloon body art combined with couture fashions to rule the night as the sold-out guest list of nearly 400 attendees decorated their cars to parade behind Rockstar Trolleys from a cocktail meet & greet at the Canfield House to Rosecliff for an evening of lively bidding on auction items, fine dining and dancing with honorees, the Brazilian Polo Team, before ascending to the Skybar atop Clarke Cooke House for a last dance.

A specialty bar hosted by the Cocktail Guru & Cuca Fresca featured Caipirinha coctails, while passed hors d'oeuvres & exclusive Silent Auction opportunities were offered on the terrace overlooking breathtaking garden & water views of Rhode Island Sound. Attendees got a surprise greeting from exotic residents of Roger William's Park Zoo, roaming throughout the lawn with their handlers.  Acclaimed artist Janice Lee Kelly created unique pieces like wrist corsages, headdresses and boas to complete the most spirited outfit, with proceeds benefitting RWPZ.

Long time patrons were seen ushering their guests in for the night's festivities. Stacie Mills hosted a feathered flock from Newport, while Peter Rains led his faithful entourage from Palm Beach and NYC, and Brian Cunha and Bekki Schenker brought West Coast friends, while Alexander Forostenko and Charlene Heinz escorted friends from around the Ocean & Bay States. Polo Clubbers Jenny ElkusLaurel Howe and Chip Stiegler traded their polo mounts for a table on the dance floor with friends hailing from all over the east coast, and Kimmie Ross gathered closest pals and donors for the evening.  

As the sun went down, the bidding heated up in the silent auction, featuring original works of art, exciting travel adventures, designer gifts and jewelry, owners box pro sports event tickets and other highly sought-after packages from generous donors. In the dining room, Newport Polo Club president Dan Keating welcomed honored guests including the Brazilian Polo Team, and Dr. Jeremy Goodman and Brooke Fairman of the Roger Williams Park Zoo. Keating also gave acknowledgements to all those who made the event possible including honorary ambassadors, First Lady Stephanie Chafee and her mother Sophie F. Danforth, polo ambassadors Lynn and Jonathan Kaye, generous sponsors, and the auction committee that worked to make the night so successful.   

Gorgeous lighting, florals & colorful table designs transformed the gilded ballroom into a night in Rio.  Blackstone Catering created a sumptuous menu of exotic hors d'oeuvres and suft & turf dinner, treating guests to Brazilian delights of meats & fish & including ceviche, empanadas, exotic fruits and other specialties, followed by beef and shrimp with chimichurri, and South American coconut flan.

The auctioneer, on loan from Christie's, opened the bidding on once-in-a-lifetime adventures, tantalizing get-aways, and unique opportunities, donated by Peter DeSavaryThe Newport Experience, Cox Engineering, Alex and Ani & Luciano's, the Newport JHouse, McGrath Clambakes, the Rhode Island Zoological Society. In additional to live auction exclusives (preview link), tax deductible Donations were received. The gala's continued success comes with the support of generous sponsors, including Canfield HouseRockstar Limo, The Cocktail GuruCuca Fresca,Pure Brazilian Coconut Water

Decades by DeZyne kept the party rocking through the night, with a repertoire spanning 60 years, from Motown to the most recent chart toppers. The band took center stage and the dance floor was instantly filled. Guests packed the dance floor through the last song at midnight, all the while tooting on handcarved Brazilian rosewood samba bird call whistle party favors. The merriment continued as the party moved to the Sky Bar atop Clark Cooke House, to end a perfect evening.

Conservation and environmental stewardship are at the core of the Roger Williams Park Zoo mission. Our regional Zoo, operated by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and owned by the city of Providence, works in partnership with 200 other zoos to preserve the planet's animals. Roger Williams Park Zoo challenges not only itself, but also its visitors to act as responsible environmental stewards. To learn more visit rwpzoo.org, or plan your next visit to see first hand what the zoo is up to. 

14 years and counting, the International Polo Charity Ball is the social highlight of the season when polo players, enthusiasts and friends come together to celebrate while supporting various charitable organizations. Festivities carried on through the weekend as Brazil took to the field to challenge team USA. The annual New England Lobsterbake & firework display brought a wonderful conclusion to an extraordinary weekend. Visit the Schedule and Tickets page for all upcoming events.

For even more on Ball Carnaval, check out the photo gallery, and look back on last year's Safari Ball with the Kenyan team. 

Commissioned by Nevada silver heiress,  Theresa Fiar Oelrichs in 1899, Rosecliff, a gilded age mansion, stands out among the big houses of Bellevue. Architect Stanford White modeled Rosecliff on the garden retreat of French Kings at Versailles, the Grand Trianon. Upon completion in 1902, Rosecliff was the sight of many fabulous entertainments. Ball goers stood in the same room where Harry Houdini performed his renowned slights of hand at Mrs. Olerichs fairy tale dinner party.

The Newport Polo Club is looking ahead to the next International Polo Ball on Friday, August 5, 2016. Nominations are open for a nonprofit civic or charitable beneficiary. For more information about the 2015 gala, contact Newport Polo via email, addressed to agnes@nptpolo.com.  

  • Gala Dinner Tickets for cocktails & hors d’oeuvres, auction, seated dinner, after-dinner libations & dancing from 7:00pm-midnight. 
  • Patron Tables of 10 with premium table location, name plate & special decor and recognition on official event collateral.  Seating is limited.
  • Dessert & Dancing Tickets from 9:30-midnight include dessert, cocktails & dancing.

For more information, please email agnes@nptpolo.com.  Must be 21 or older to attend, or accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Proof of age may be required.

The annual summer soiree, now in its 15th year, attracts bon vivants, polo enthusiasts & players from across the US and oversees for a weekend of festivities in the glamorous seaside resort.  The celebration continues the following day, at the Newport International Polo Series where the featured match is USA playing against the international rival.  Tickets to the match can be purchased in advance online, following our Calendar pages to the 8/6 match, or at the entry gates. After the match, our annual Lobsterbake will be the perfect conclusion of the weekend's events. Please check our Events tab for details and reservations, which are required in advance for the dinner.