A Floral Twist on a Classic Thanksgiving Tabletop

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Locals—on Friday, November 22 at Bungalow Bar, there will be plenty to be thankful for and sip to as local floral expert, Julie McCann Mulligan, will be sharing tips, tricks, and inspiration, on how you too can become the hostess with the mostest, by creating a festive highlight for your Thanksgiving dinner table. If you are tired of using the same old pieces and store-bought tabletop decorations, Mulligan will make your table a conversation starter that will keep your company gushing through the New Year.

Mulligan, a self-professed Rockaway girl, started her career in the floral industry over 30 years ago in a small, family-owned flower shop. Maybe you have heard of 1-800-FLOWERS? Well, Mulligan’s brother, Jim McCann, is the founder and executive chairman, and since he opened his first retail florist shop and began a journey that would forever change the narrative about how flowers, gourmet foods and other gifts are bought for celebratory occasions, Mulligan has been at his side as the creative force behind the brand. Besides being married for 47 years with a brood of children and grandchildren, Mulligan’s short list of accomplishments include being the company’s spokesperson on a host of events such as A Taste of Chicago, A Tribute to Style in Beverly Hills, The New York Flower Show and the Macy's Flower Show; designing a special bouquet to support breast cancer research and presenting it to then President Bill Clinton at the White House—Mulligan's striking designs have been featured on numerous television shows such as NBC's Today Show, Fox 5's Good Day New York, On The Road with Al Roker, and in national magazines such as Family Circle, Women's Day and Beautiful Bride; and she even authored the book, “A Year Full of Flowers: Fresh Ideas to Bring Flowers into Your Life Everyday,” written in collaboration with her brother, Jim, and home design writer and editor, Bo Niles.

However, despite her international prestige as the “Martha Stewart” of the floral industry, what’s even more impressive and endearing about Mulligan is her pride in being a true sea-blue Rockaway girl, eager to share her passion for everything flowers with the community.

Mulligan, with her infectious humor said, “I was born and grew up in Ozone Park, but arguably since I didn’t grow up until I was 40 years old, from the time I attended Stella Maris High School, Rockaway has been my home. I met my husband through the people who own Bungalow Bar. We got married when I was 19, so, if people say I’m really not from Rockaway, well I would say that I moved here when I got married, so yeah, I’ve lived here for over 47 years, so, yes I’m a Rockaway girl. Stella Maris brought me to Rockaway, but the people like my best friend, Pat Donohue, kept me here.”

Katy Grey, general manager of Bungalow Bar, said she grew up looking up to women like Mulligan as mentors. “My family were the original tenants of Dayton Towers at Seaside. Julie’s children were my best friends. Plus Pat Donohue, Julie’s right-hand BFF, was also one of the original tenants at Dayton, so we have a close connection. So for Julie to host this event at Bungalow is a dream come true. This partnership is a marriage made in heaven because at Bungalow Bar, we love bringing new experiences to the community. Tickets are already selling so quickly. Our ad in The Rockaway Times already has reaped so many responses. The Rockaway Times and Bungalow Bar work hand-in-hand because again, it’s all about presenting what’s great about Rockaway. Locals supporting locals,” Grey said.

Mulligan is beyond stoked because she gets to bring her expertise to the community she calls home. “This workshop is going to be fun because it’s not just about the end result, but the experience. The Friday before Thanksgiving, I’ll show folks how to make to make a beautiful tabletop floral spread, and tips on how to keep it beautiful and fresh, not just for Thanksgiving, but throughout the holidays. When everything is done, everyone is going to be so thrilled with themselves. It’s all about being prepared. I’m already cutting, steaming and preparing items in advance for the event. Like Katy as general manager of Bungalow Bar, it’s all in the details in how to make an experience as memorable and fulfilling as possible, so your guest has the time of their life and they get to take home something creative to share with their families."

Grey and Mulligan plan to make this a monthly event. “There are a plethora of things you can do with flowers and plants, and I want to share my knowledge and experience with my community. In order to be creative, it’s important to keep up-to-date, even for me as a consultant and creative rep in this field. I am going to provide the key to sparking your creative juices. It’s not about perfection, it’s about enjoying the process. A table is an empty pallet. Personal touches elevate any event. However, more importantly, my mantra through my career has been just have fun with it. And with cocktails, food and creative juices flowing, fun will definitely be had by all!” Mulligan said.

Bungalow Bar’s Harvest Celebration Centerpiece and Tablescape Inspiration, hosted by Julie McCann Mulligan, will be on Friday, November 22, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., 377 Beach 92nd Street. Admission is just $60, which includes all materials (wooden planter, fresh flowers and foliage, succulents, pods, seasonal fruit, etc.). Attendees will receive a 10% discount on any food and beverage purchased before or after the workshop. To sign up, visit Eventbrite link:

http://bit.ly/CreativeWorkshopBB  or call Bungalow Bar at 718-945-2100.

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