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My friends, John and Cindy, celebrated their ten year wedding anniversary with a song and dance party that was so much fun. Cindy loves to sing but can't carry a tune, so when they were thinking of what to do for their anniversary, John suggested a party where Cindy could make her dreams of being a singer come true. They decided to rent a karaoke machine, throw a party like the Grammy's, and invite all their friends and family to participate.

The invitation my husband and I received in the mail was a 'Tinseltown' announcement requesting our presence at an awards show where we could be nominee or judge. The invite itself was on thick card with rhinestones around the edge. Musical notes decorated the space around the words. An additional card was included that asked guests to respond yes or no, and mark the category they'd like to be considered for: country, pop, rock, and rap. If we didn't want to sing, we could put a check next to 'judge'. The invitation also asked guests to dress appropriately for an awards gala. I thought this was a most clever invitation and we couldn't wait to go to the party.

I decided to wear a long black velvet skirt with a slit in the back, and a sequined top for my appearance (I would be singing a pop tune). My husband wore leather pants, an untucked button down white shirt, and boots (I bet you can't guess what he was going to sing). We did make a great couple and on the drive over to John and Cindy's house, took some vocal practice by singing along with the radio.

Cindy did a fantastic job decorating the house. When we walked in the front door there were pillars on each side of the entryway with huge floral arrangements on top. A red carpet led our way into their large family/dining room area. A friend of Cindy was acting as photographer and took our picture. There were rows of black folding chairs in front of a small spotlighted stage. On stage was a karaoke machine and microphone. Behind the stage, tiny white lights blinked on and off. As is customary with awards shows, each seat had a large black and white picture, glued on poster board, of a guest with their name in bold black letters underneath. On the walls were posters of famous musicians and enlarged copies of sheet music. Using fishing line, Cindy had hung CD's and albums from the ceiling. And on either side of the stage were two more pillars, again decorated with flowers. To the far left of the room was a long table for the judges to sit. There were place cards with each judge's name, facing outward.

We stood around and mingled with other guests, admiring their attire and asking important music questions. By the way, Cindy looked amazing in a red sequined low cut gown. The house lights went off and on, indicating it was time for the show to begin. We took our seats and Cindy and John took to the stage to welcome everyone to their 10th anniversary extravaganza – The Anny Awards (short for anniversary). They had written a humorous introduction, playing the role of host effortlessly. When partygoers had given their RSVP, Cindy kept a list and came up with a line-up, prearranging the song a guest would sing based on their category choice. The five judges were ready and John introduced the first singer.

I have never laughed, cried, and applauded more in my life. The karaoke machine was a huge success. There wasn't a shy bone in anyone and quite a few people totally became the artist whose song they were singing. One friend got up and sang “You Are So Beautiful to me,” by Joe Cocker, and there wasn't a straight face in the audience. He sounded exactly like him and we all found it so funny. The grand finale was of course Cindy. She finally got her place in the spotlight and sang two of her favourite songs. We all yelled encore and she came back out for one more. With the show over, we made our way to the kitchen for dinner. The judges took a few extra minutes to go over their scores.

A buffet dinner was set up with Cindy and John's favourite food: Chinese. There was fried rice, beef with broccoli, egg rolls, shrimp in clam sauce, and moo shoo chicken that the caterer had prepared individually. There was also won ton soup and Chinese chicken salad. For dessert there were chocolate dipped fortune cookies. We casually sat around and ate then went back to the show area for the announcement of the Anny Award winners. Five awards were handed out. Each winner received a gold trophy in the shape of a CD. Winners were rewarded in the four categories of music that were sung and there was an overall winner.

As a parting gift, we were given the traditional awards show gift bag. It was full of great things like gift certificates, bubble bath, a picture frame (for the photo taken of us by the photographer), chocolates, and a music CD. It was a very generous party favour. Cindy and John thanked everyone and said they had a great time celebrating their anniversary in musical style. I hope there's another Anny awards party one day – just for fun.