Ways to make your banquet experience even MORE fun

Early this spring, Gigi Abbadie was looking for a way to give back to the people that had helped her get her business, her business, Two Trees Strategy, off the ground. A vegan and animal lover, Gigi decided to buy a table at CAA’s Annual Banquet, set to take place on Harriet Island. Gigi called the rest of her group to ask how they wanted to celebrate when the banquet was relocated to a virtual platform. As they had not seen each other for months, they all decided to try to find a way to be together.

Depending on CDC and MN Department of Health guidelines closer to the new event date on August 15, their celebration will take place indoors or in Gigi’s backyard. Each guest is committed to bringing vegan food items to donate to a local charity or food shelf. Gigi is also planning a DIY vegan sangria bar, where attendees can choose from a variety of wines, fruit, or non-alcoholic options to make their own drinks. Each guest’s table setting will be decorated with a squirrel stuffed animal selected by Gigi due to her work at the wildlife rehabilitation center. For dessert, Gigi is making her favorite vegan chocolate cake and having guests bring home their Seed cookies to share with their families. 

As Gigi has shown, there are endless ways you can make your banquet experience even more fun this year. We’ve added a few of our own ideas below to get you started!

1. Enjoy the banquet outside, whether at a park or in your own backyard

Just because you’ll need a computer or tablet to join the banquet this year doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sunshine and outdoor air while doing so! You can connect your computer to a mobile hotspot from your smartphone to get internet access virtually anywhere. If you’re not sure how to do that, try looking at these resources for Apple and Android users.

2. Enjoy the banquet in the company of friends and family

While keeping ourselves and others safe and slowing the spread of Covid-19 are our current priorities, there are ways to enjoy the company of others while achieving these outcomes.

The CDC advocates for social distancing of a minimum of 6-feet between people from different households and the use of face coverings when possible. Additionally, sitting outdoors decreases the risk of coronavirus transmissions between households.

Prior to your guests arriving, map out your yard to create socially-distanced sitting areas for each household and disinfect all furniture. Encourage guests to avoid touching their faces and provide hand-sanitizer at each family’s sitting area.

Find more information about planning an outdoor activity here. Information and guidelines from the CDC about keeping ourselves and others safe can be found here.

3. Decorate your space

Access your creativity and think of ways to decorate your space to match this year’s banquet theme: Spreading Our Wings. Show-off bird related items you already have, whether that be a plastic pink flamingo yard ornament, or a ceramic rooster decoration. Don’t have a bird item? Try your hand at making origami birds. Use the birdseed we will provide to set up a bird feeder outside of your window to enjoy your food in the company of your neighborhood critters.

4. Plan games or activities

Have your guests arrive slightly before the start of the banquet to take part in games like bingo or raffle to win fun prizes or even consider throwing together a bird themed trivia to match the theme of this year’s banquet!

Outdoors you can plan for activities that uphold social distancing guidelines, such as frisbee, catch, chalk art, or a scavenger hunt.

5. Come prepared to have a good time

The banquet is a celebration of life, animals, the support of our wonderful community, and 22 years of CAA’s work for animals. Bring a noisemaker to cheer on and applaud our speakers, don’t be afraid to laugh and move around, and stick around after the program to socialize with other animal advocates.


Still need your ticket? Tickets are available for purchase here, with options for dinner and event access (with auction access) or event and auction access. We can’t wait to celebrate 22 years of work for the animals with you on August 15!

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