Diary Of The Playboy Bunny That Will Never Be

Playboy Club 50th Anniversary Party
The Venue – Hammond, IN
June 10, 2010

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Excitement escalated as we hopped in the car and headed to The Venue. I was officially en route to an alien world that I knew existed but had never experienced firsthand. No, I am not talking about a Lady Gaga show. I could not decipher whether I was feeling confusion, amusement, or horrifying fascination with my imminent attendance of Chicago’s 50th Anniversary Party for the Playboy Club at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana last Thursday night.

More photos from the Playboy Club 50th Anniversary Party after the jump…

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After meticulous calculation, I decided this was not an event to rush home and call mom and dad about. As much as we all hate to admit it, America is wildly enchanted by a 50-year-old empire that does not seem to be going away any time soon. The mystique surrounding the Playboy franchise, fronted by male gigolo himself Hugh Hefner, never seems to dull. The many questions surrounding the Playboy lifestyle may never be answered.

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To capitalize on America’s unhealthy obsession with reality TV and also to provide a window into what life is like in the Playboy Mansion, The Girls Next Door was created. Thus, the world began following the lives of Hugh’s three then-girlfriends for five years: Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson, and Bridget Marquardt. I guess like everyone else I was curious as to what the life of a Playmate was actually like. Yes, I admit it: I was excited for the Playboy Club 50th Anniversary Party!

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Upon arrival, The Venue was quickly scoped out by yours truly. Only a few nights before the site was home to sold-out concerts played by New Kids On The Block. The Playboy Club 50th Anniversary Party transformed the space into a hip and happening dimly lit nightclub, replacing any remnants of three NKOTB performances. The stage had been converted into a VIP lounge seating area, decorated with white leather couches, stools, and tables used by those lucky (or rich) enough to enjoy bottle service. Strobe lights were constantly illuminating the main floor, stage, and catwalk. Brilliant bright colors projected throughout the room, classifying the party as a milder high-class rave.

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To achieve a modern, yet sleek and upscale vibe, the party’s color scheme was a pairing of black and red with white accents embellishing important logos such as the projected Playboy symbol on the walls of The Venue. Professional nightclub go-go dancers were placed in prominent places provocatively dancing and grinding the night away, which in turn enticed the heavily testosterone populated crowd. Cocktail waitresses donned white bunny tails and tight black corseted “uniforms.” For such a risky and burlesque gathering, the event coordinators managed to achieve a chic and classy atmosphere.

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For the convenience of the guests, full service bars were set up in multiple locations on the main floor of The Venue. Attendees were encouraged to dance thanks to the tunes emanating from Red Bull DJ OB-One, who had the nerve not to play any Lady Gaga! Although the only dancing that appeared to be happening was that of the various go-go dancers strategically placed around The Venue. Two go-go dancers on the main stage drew the most attention from on-lookers. Gotta give those girls credit…they danced for hours and barely broke a sweat. The ultimate draw of the Playboy Club Party was the competition between ten girls from Chicagoland nightclubs all aiming for the chance to be featured as the next Playboy Bunny.

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Former star of The Girls Next Door Bridget Marquardt was assigned to be one of the judges and co-host for the Playboy Club 50th Anniversary Party. Other special guest appearances included Candace Jordan (Playboy Playmate December 1979), Ida Ljungqvist (2009 Playmate of the Year), and Crystal McCahill (Miss May 2009). Q101’s Steve Tingle (Morning Show) served as the emcee for last Thursday’s Playboy Bunny search.

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Contestants and celebrity guests walking the red carpet while posing for media, press, and fans kicked off the night’s festivities. The competition was dragged out over the span of a couple of hours to keep the party going strong and the drinks flowing. The interaction between attendees was more entertaining to watch than the lackluster personalities of the contestants on stage. Each finalist only served to bore the audience with their responses to the three judges (including Bridget Marquardt and Chicago Bears player Lance Briggs) questions for the more “intellectual” bit of the Bunny search.

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With no winner being announced by 12:30am, it was time to call it a night and peace out. After all, some of us had to work at 7:00am the next day. Not every girl can live the life of a potential Playboy Bunny. Even though I was not present for the announcement, Stephanie Miceli from V Live was declared the big winner of the evening and the next Playboy Bunny. Congratulations to Stephanie. I can only hope that her wildest dreams come true.

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I left that evening successfully content and highly amused. I was even more curious after the party about the motivation to become a Playboy bunny and the lifestyle that goes with the coveted title than I was previously. The only approach I received was from a man older than my dad who asked me, “Why are you not talking to all the hot younger guys perusing the dance floor?” My response to him (aka “the dinosaur”) went something like, “I don’t think this is the kind of place I want to find a boyfriend.”

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Never will I be a bunny and never will I know the deep, dark secrets to being a bunny. However, that will not stop me from enjoying future events produced by anything Playboy related. The drive home had satisfaction replacing anxiety. Oh, what a night.

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Bridget Marquardt (The Girls Next Door)

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Ida Ljungqvist (2009 Playmate of the Year)

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Playmate Hosts (Ida Ljungqvist, Bridget Marquardt, Crystal McCahill)

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Stephanie Miceli / V Live (Bunny Search Winner)

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Lance Briggs (Chicago Bears)

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Ida Ljungqvist (2009 Playmate of the Year)

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Ida Ljungqvist (2009 Playmate of the Year)

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Playmate Hosts (Ida Ljungqvist, Bridget Marquardt, Crystal McCahill)

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Playmate Hosts (Ida Ljungqvist, Bridget Marquardt, Crystal McCahill)

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Stephanie Miceli / V Live (Bunny Search Winner)

Written by: Kate Jacobsen
Photographed by: Jennifer Boyer

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  1. Tiffany says:

    Love the Girls next door! The party looked liked a ton of fun!

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