Over recent weekends, Atlanta Fever Entertainment got the party started – and kept it going strong! - for multiple bar/bat mitzvahs in a variety of settings.
Some were intimate backyard celebrations. Others took place at venues with indoor/outdoor space. Still others were drive-by fiestas, with staggered arrival times and experiences designed for the guests in each group.
They all had two things in common: safety and so much fun!
We spoke to Cathy Schwartz, co-founder and president of Atlanta Fever, to get a sense of what’s going on.
She told us that parties are moving forward with the most activity her team has seen in a year. Many parents who thought they’d have to skip their teen’s celebration altogether are finding that creative approaches and proven safety measures can make for more memorable mitzvah parties than they imagined possible.
“These kids deserve to be celebrated,” Cathy said. “And families should have those beautiful reunions to be together and have a joyful time.”
Because the entertainment is one of the biggest elements of the celebration, DJ companies including Atlanta Fever have expanded offerings and services to make sure families have a great party. If the original venue won’t work for a rescheduled or revised party plan, ask your DJ to accompany you on a site visit or come to your home or neighborhood clubhouse to check for space and electricity needs.
“We can do backyards, front yards, parks, restaurants, museums… you name it, we can make it happen,” Cathy said. Atlanta Fever has done several different types of locations in recent weeks, making sure for each there is a designated dance space, a monitor to show a video montage, lights to guide guests to the party or highlight logos and décor, and even bringing heaters to keep everyone comfortable if they are outdoors.
For outdoor settings, a rain plan is a must. Yes, that could include a garage! With pipe and drape and lighting, you’d never know that’s where you are. And as for how you use your space, you can explore any number of options. An upcoming backyard party will feature a dance floor suspended over the family pool. A recent mitzvah celebration at a museum had ample space for social distancing and spread-out dancing. A drive-by event can create a different experience for every group of guests: one segment may include the hora, another games and trivia, and another a parent-child dance. Depending on the number of guests, you may decide to engage just a DJ who can also serve as master of ceremonies, or an MC plus dancers.
“We take safety very seriously, and everyone is masked from crew to guests,” she said. “We’ve had no issues at parties because we are taking precautions.” For families hoping to connect out-of-town guests to both services and parties, look into Zoom management and livestreaming. Those who would’ve missed out on the milestone event for any variety of reasons can now be part of the festivities.
While vendors have been flexible with necessary date changes, Cathy urges parents to schedule their party soon. Dates for 2021 and 2022 are filling rapidly, and parties are expected to gradually get bigger as health conditions improve.
For those not sure if they’re ready to schedule, Cathy noted: “I often hear from parents that they’re so glad they went forward with the party, celebrating safely with their loved ones. They have no regrets!”
Looking for help in creating your unique mitzvah celebration? Check out the Atlanta Mitzvah Connection vendor directory for specialists in virtual services, décor at any indoor/outdoor venue, creative catering, and more.
Friends and family who joined Sophie for her bat mitzvah were truly in the “room where it happened." Congregation Gesher L'Torah for her Torah service and Kiddush and Roswell Historic Cottage for an evening celebration.
Choosing a theme for a bar or bat mitzvah celebration seems easy. After all, right now your teen is SO into soccer, or YouTube, or dance. But if you’re planning the simcha one to two years ahead of the date, be prepared that his or her passions, hobbies and interests may change dramatically during this time.