Festival of Tables History: I NEED YOUR HELP!

The history of the “tablescape event.”  How it all started … and where.

It’s something I’d love to know!  You, too?
 
I’ve decided to try to put a few of the puzzle pieces together … but first I have to find them.

PLEASE HELP!

Here’s how …
Think about your earliest tablescape event memory.
Any event you know of … even if you didn’t participate.
 
Please leave a comment — or send an email w/ Tablescape History in the subject line — and answer these questions as thoroughly as you can.  (I’ll include my answers so you’ll have an example.

  1. Date of the event (approx. 1997)
  2. Location of the event (Emmanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria, Louisiana)
  3. Who hosted it? (civic group, church group, etc.)  (church)
  4. Was the event for women only, men and women, families, or “open to the public”?  (Entire church family)
  5. Did the event include a meal (with multiple place settings at each table) or individual “theme” tables solely for viewing?  (meal)
  6. Was the event a fundraiser? If so, do you remember who it benefited?  (No; it was a back-to-school kick-off event)
  7. Was it an annual event? (It became one.)

 
I guess this is sort of like doing a family tree of tablescape events!  My GUESS has long been that the fun all started in the southern part of the U.S. …  until this morning when I received an email from someone who mentioned a tablescape event in Traverse City, Michigan — 15 years ago.  Hmmm…  It should be interesting to see where YOUR info takes us.

 
If you have time, feel free to also include separate comments (but just one email!) for EACH tablescape event about which you have personal knowledge.
 
Thanks for stopping by today …and thanks for your help! PLEASE pass this along to all of your tablescaping friends. The more puzzles pieces we can gather, the better the picture!
 
I’m joining:
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch 

Comments

  1. Hmmmm…not sure I’m going to be much help. I didn’t really pay attention back then. I’m not even sure they referred to it as “tablescaping” at the time around here.
    1) Date of the event (approx. 1995)
    2) Location of the event (not sure, just know it was in the Kansas City area)
    3) Who hosted it? (civic group, church group, etc.) (DIFFA)
    4) Was the event for women only, men and women, families, or “open to the public”? (The tablescaping part was open to floral designers, but the event itself was open to the public as it was a fundraiser)
    5) Did the event include a meal (with multiple place settings at each table) or individual “theme” tables solely for viewing? (meal)
    6) Was the event a fundraiser? If so, do you remember who it benefited? (For HIV/AIDS awareness)
    7) Was it an annual event? (Yes)

    Hope this helps!

  2. I have never seen an event like that here on Long Island.
    I wish they had them!
    Sorry I can’t help?

  3. My father-in-law told me about a church in Scottsdale, AZ, that started a tablescape event as a fundraiser. It was so popular and grew so large that it was moved to a downtown convention center. I can’t find anything on the internet about it now — I don’t know what happened to it. Here in Chicago, we have tablescapes every year as part of the Home and Garden Show.

  4. Susan, I have the worse memory in the world. lol I def didn’t see any table settings when growing up, so not sure where. I’ve always noticed them in magazines like Colonial Homes and Traditional Homes.

  5. Hi Susan! Ithe only event I remember is when Susan of Between Naps on the Porch,
    started as a Tablescape Tuesday and then changed it to Tablescape Thursday after a while. I don’t remember when though, seems like a long time ago and I was not even a blogger then….Christine

  6. 1) Date of the event (approx. 1972))
    2) Location of the event (First Christian Church, Nevada, Missouri)
    3) Who hosted it? (civic group, church group, etc.) (church)
    4) Was the event for women only, men and women, families, or “open to the public”? (Women Only)
    5) Did the event include a meal (with multiple place settings at each table) or individual “theme” tables solely for viewing? (meal)
    6) Was the event a fundraiser? If so, do you remember who it benefited? (Not that I can remember)
    7) Was it an annual event? (Yes)

    It was neat — they had 12 tables and each “hostess” decorated the table according to the month of that table. It was a “birthday dinner” and you were supposed to sit at the table that your birthday fell in. They were the long church tables rather than round ones and I was impressed with what the hostesses were able to accomplish. Of course, some months were much more popular than others — December, July, February, October and November — because their “theme” was much easier to think of than other months.

  7. I first heard the term “tablescape” in 1998. A friend and I were about to open up a small home decor shop in Nebraska. We had chosen a dish line at market called Hartstone to sell. The sales rep for the line of dishes told us about displaying all sorts of things on our table along with the dishes. He said to us, “This is called a tablescape.” First time I had actually heard that term.

  8. Hi Susan!
    I remember running into Bill, at Affordable Accoutrements, while visiting Martha Stewart. I saw him in her sidebar…I don’t even know why! I remember saying to myself: “this handsome man must be an interior designer”..so I immediately decided to visit him and the rest is history, as I fell totally inlove with his tablescaping talents. Than we became friends and he refered me to Susan at, BNOTP and that was it..my blogging days had just started and I am so happy to have met fellow bloggers as wonderful as you and so talented!!.. I now live in heaven when I tablescape, specially.
    Thank you for your sweet and kind visit to me. Big hugs,
    FABBY

  9. oh-This will be so much fun! I can’t wait to see what people come up with. When I was in high school in the 60’s they taught us how to set a proper table and create a centerpiece. It will be fun to see just how far back it goes- xo Diana

  10. I will have to think about it since it was just since blogging I found out there was a term for it……..

  11. Hi Susan, you know how I love my history and when it’s matched with decor all the better! 🙂 I agree that here in America the tablescape originated in the South as a fundraising event either by a church or Junior League. But lavish themed banquets began during the renaissance and rose to their greatest heights at the Palace of Versailles in France.
    For fun I included a link which features “A Banquet of the Pheasant”.

    http://www.enotes.com/renaissance-banquets-reference/renaissance-banquets

    Your tablescape runs tomorrow. 🙂

  12. Hmmm. Perhaps I should write a detailed post about the history of the tablescape ????

  13. The Theta Flaming Festival in our city started in 1955. I don’t know if it is also held in other cities. It is still going strong, and it is a wonderful time to say hello and visit with those people that you don’t get to see other times during the year. It benefits CASA, a volunteer agency that provides advocates for children caught in the judicial system…family court, etc. It is open to the public. No one eats at the display tables, but there is also a luncheon that features a well known speaker. In the last few years, speakers have included Amy Grant, Laura Bush, and Mary Carol Garrity. Although I am not a Theta, I have collaborated on a tablescape with a dear Theta friend for more than 20 years. It’s always the first Wednesday in November, and it is held at a beautiful local country club. I’ll be posting pictures of the Flaming Festival over the next few weeks. Cherry Kay

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