At Riverside we take JRR Tolkien’s description of a party of special magnificence to heart. The birthday of the venerable hobbit is an event like non other. As September comes to a close more than three hundred and fifty guests gather for an evening of celebration and fun. We call a great feast under the night sky with amazing food provided by the families of Riverside. The many children play games and energetically reenact battles across the sloping lawn. A giant rope swing and zip line round out the entertainments.
As the sun sets, the main event begins with the ceremonially unveiling of the cake. An intricately detailed and often enormous recreation of a setting from The Lord of the Rings. This year we created the great doors of Moria.
With the sun fully set, the storytelling portion of the night begins. The youngest students share a selection of scenes, including a dramatic rendition of the Ring Poem. This is followed by Bilbo’s farewell speech under the party tree, hung with lights and colored lanterns.
The magical evening concludes with groups of party goers being guided by elven maidens through a dark forest, light only by torch and fire light. Here they will see the oldest of the boys reenacting dramatic scenes from The Lord of the Rings in full costume.
The night air, lights, food and music combine to create an unparalleled experience of Tolkien’s world. The guests feel as if they are stepping into another time and place as the beloved story comes to life.