Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cosmos for Critters 2012: We are WOWED.

It's that time of year again - Mardi Gras time, that is - and for us that meant attending the second annual Cosmos for Critters!
Steve & I at Cosmos for Critters, Saturday 2/18/2012
Last year's CfC was a good time, of course, but it was extremely obvious - in a good way! - that they learned a lot with their first event, because this year the entire shebang was just *outstanding*.

Change of venue - this years CfC was held at the Upstate History Museum

For their first year CfC was held at Zen on South Main Street in downtown Greenville. Now, this location had its positives - a lot of open space, and right up or across the street from a few bars if you wanted to keep partying after the event. But Zen is very minimalist (and to be honest felt boring to me), and also their parking is questionable - we had to park in a lot about 1/10 of a mile or so from Zen itself and walk up a train track to get to the building. Not fun in heels. Though the Upstate History Museum seemed to have limited parking (we arrived at about 7:45 and there were maybe 5 spots left in the lot!) and was farther from other downtown options (which would have involved moving the car and paying for parking in one of the lots or garages if we wanted to stay out...no thanks), in general I enjoyed this location much more than Zen. Why?

Lots of fun picture opportunities!

We were able to wander around and actually check out the museum, which in general just meant "more stuff to do" if one didn't feel like browsing the silent auction or dancing :)

Now, my main "complaints" regarding last year's Cosmos for Critters ("complaints" with quotation marks because we had a good time regardless, and it wasn't as if they were unclear about what was and was not included last year) were the bar/drinks and the food. Mainly that the food selection was fairly minimal and that they seemed to run out of it quite fast, and that the drinks were pricey - at least a couple of dollars more than what you'd pay at a bar downtown. The tickets themselves were affordable last year (at $28 each) but in the end we spent so much on drinks that it became a very expensive night out.

This year they fixed that problem, though! For $45 per person ($50 per person after January 15) your ticket included an open bar! Food as well, of course, and I was extremely pleased with the spread this year. Not only were there far more options, but there was more food period. Many of the dishes were a bit spicy - in keeping with the New Orleans/Mardi Gras theme, I'm guessing - but there were plenty of tasty options :)

Main buffet
Cupcake tower
Now, the silent auction had some amazing items both this year and last year, but sadly this year the bids were quite a bit higher than they were last year and we declined to participate :( They also had a little raffle going on, and since the money was all going to local animal rescues we bought a few tickets for that. Didn't win anything, but the prizes were some really nice gift baskets full of pet treats, books, and the like.

All I can say is that we may have had fun last year at Cosmos for Critters - but this year was a thousand times better. Every improvement that they made was a positive one, and if they continue on this path...even if next year's event is in the same place with the open bar and the same food vendors...we will absolutely be first on the list of people to buy tickets for it!

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