What started out as a small, informal gathering among friends has grown to become one of the largest and most anticipated events of the year in Minnesota.
The Sumthin’ Special White Out Affair is embarking upon its 15th year. The event that calls on every guests to wear all white (with the exceptional splash of color here or there) began when a group of friends decided to charter a boat on Lake Minnetonka for an early evening cruise. The suggestion was for each participant to wear all white outfits. Once the boat docked, the revelers decided to hit up a Minneapolis hot spot. The entire crowd took notice of the group wearing white and began to inquire about the event – and many asked to be included in the next “all white” party. Thus, a tradition – and entertainment company – was born.
From that humble beginning, the White Out Affair has grown to entertain numbers that have eclipsed 2,000 patrons at a single event. This year, Sumthin’ Special is taking the annual summer party to the Metropolitan Ballroom, 5418 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley. To celebrate its 15th year, the group is bringing in DJ Charlie Chan, DJ to Run-DMC and former DJ to Nelly and Da Brat. Also spinning will be Twin Cities pioneering DJ, Chuck Chizzle.
John Baker, one of the founders of Sumthin’ Special, said the fact that the White Out Affair is celebrating 15 years is a testament to the quality of the event.
“This has been a great event for the community. It’s really brought all of the Twin Cities together,” said Baker. “This is the one event that shows how everyone can come together and have a great time regardless of what area people are from. There is such a variety of people there – old, young, corporate – and they all come together to have a good time. It’s amazing how this event has lasted so long.”
Baker said the atmosphere created by the producers is something unlike most events in the metro. In addition to guest DJs and performers, participants are treated to massages, offered casino-style gaming and more. Plus there’s the aesthetic of seeing an audience full of everyone dressed in white.
“The event almost makes people feel like they are partying out of town,” said Baker. “It’s really something special for the community.”
This year the White Out Affair heads to Golden Valley for the first time, at the Metropolitan Ballroom. According to Baker, the Metropolitan is the perfect location to celebrate its ruby anniversary.
“The Metropolitan is a classic place and this is the first time we’ve had a White Out Affair there. It’s a beautiful space. We also wanted to take the event out of downtown so people don’t have to worry about the congestion and parking,” said Baker. “This is great place for us to celebrate our 15th year.”
Special guest DJ, Charlie Chan, a former U.S. Marine, got his big break when he won a DJ competition where the first prize was a chance to open for Run-DMC. Chan won over the crowd and one person in particular – Jam Master Jay, Run-DMC’s original DJ. Chan and Jay became fast friends and Chan is credited with convincing Jay to turn his turntables counterclockwise with the needle and arm on top to make scratching easier – a technique known as “battle-style.” Jay, was responsible for getting Chan his gig with Da Brat, as he reached out to Jermaine Dupri and encouraged him to pair the two.
It was Chan’s reputation as the best DJ in St. Louis that landed him with fellow St. Louisan, Nelly. Chan toured with the multi-platinum artist and appeared in his “Air Force Ones” video. Following the 2002 murder of Jay, Run-DMC went on hiatus and DMC began touring as a solo act with Chan as his DJ. In 2012 when the iconic duo got back together, Chan was selected as the group’s DJ along with DJ Ruckus. Chan said DJing for Run-DMC is the highest honor.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Chan.
July 11 will mark the second time Chan has been in the Twin Cities DJing, and he said he loves coming to the area.
“I love spinning for audiences who appreciate real music,” said Chan. “(In the Twin Cities) I’m able to stretch out and be a real DJ, not just a jukebox. When I come for the White Out Affair we’re gonna take a trip from North to South to East to West and even some homegrown. I’m gonna do a couple of live remixes. I had a ball last time I was there and I’m excited to be coming back.”
Sumthin’ Special White Out Affair
Saturday, July 11
9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Metropolitan Ballroom – 5418 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley
$20 general admission, $50 VIP