I am writing this now because I may or may not have spent most of New Year’s Day recovering from New Year’s Eve.

I certainly considered being a bigger person and taking it easy so that I could wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and get a workout in on the very first day of the year, but here we are. I will make no excuses…Is it still fair to blame it on 2016 though?

Lil’ d NYE was an inaugural arts and advocacy casino night that happened this past weekend. The event benefited two great organizations in Denton; Greater Denton Arts Council and United Way of Denton County. Read on for more!

 Photo by Gail Martinez. 

Photo by Gail Martinez. 

There is nothing quite like spending the majority of your holiday vacation drilling, lifting, painting, etc. to make you feel like the most productive person alive. Otherwise, Netflix binge-watching was going to suck me in forever, so it really was a nice distraction. On any other day I put my brain through a lot, therefor the physical effort that went into this event was welcome and refreshing on a certain level; a true labor of love.

It also didn’t hurt to get to spend several days working alongside the most incredible volunteers in Denton, who also happen to be some of my greatest friends. It is essentially a science that when you give responsibility to busy [and talented] people, they will get the darn thing done and even exceed all expectations. Cheers to all of you amazing humans!

Three days of hard work (and caffeine IVs) came and went, and by Saturday morning the large moving parts were in place. All that was left was to wrap up the finest of details and then run to all of our respective hair/makeup appointments to get back in time for the big event.

 From left to right: Gary Henderson, Monica Glenn, Tracy Bays-Boothe

From left to right: Gary Henderson, Monica Glenn, Tracy Bays-Boothe

It was surreal how quickly we went from t-shirts, ball caps, and jeans to cocktail dresses, full makeup and glam hair. Shout out to my girl Sami at Sephora Highland Village for making me look way less tired.

Doors opened at eight and all of Denton’s finest started to arrive, dressed to the nines and ready to party.

 Photo by Gail Martinez. 

Photo by Gail Martinez. 

Casino tables with their respective dealers lined the walls of the galleries and kept the serious gamblers entertained all night. I even dabbled in a couple of games myself. Apparently Blackjack is my jam. Roulette and Craps, not so much.

DJ Woodtronic and David Pierce and his Holiday Orchestra kept it real all night long and the band delivered a magical rendition of Auld Lange Syne to kick off the champagne toast following the countdown and balloon drop. I got to pop a confetti canon; it was pretty freaking sweet.

A tasty variety of food from Barley & Board kept our bellies happy and balanced out the drinks which eventually did me in anyway, but that’s neither here nor there.

The celebration boded very well with attendees and the fundraising was largely successful. This is a true testament to just how much a community is capable of when people work together towards the greater good. I was honored to be a part of it.

Here’s to the beginning of another year! Stay classy, Denton.

You can find more of Angie del Rosal's musings at her website