Bob and Melanie SabelhausBob and Melanie Sabelhaus met at her sorority house and spent their college years dancing ’til dawn at his fraternity parties. Almost 40 years later, they’re still throwing soirees that make their guests feel like giddy coeds. Their joint 60th birthday party was no exception, with activities stretching over the course of a weekend in June.

The festivities started with a crab feast at the couple’s Green Spring Valley home on Friday night. Bob hosted a golf tournament Saturday morning at the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, but the highlight of the weekend was the “Junkanoo” party for 310 guests on Saturday night.

Bob and Melanie SabelhausJunkanoo is a traditional Bahamian festival, and the Sabelhauses transformed their property into the “Isle of Sabelhaus” for the occasion. Exotic tropical floral arrangements and tall, cylindrical vases filled with vibrantly colored fruit and banana fronds sat atop splashy turquoise, coral, pink and lime tablecloths (partygoers were instructed to dress in matching colors). A dance floor floated in the center of the swimming pool beneath strings of glowing Chinese lanterns, though a Miami Delano-inspired lounge filled with sofas, chaise lounges, pillows and candles promised relief for tired feet. Upon arrival, guests were handed leis and name tags that also explained their relationship to the host and hostess of honor. They nibbled on seafood from the raw bar, pork, shish kebabs and lobsters, and sipped pomegranate mojitos and Southsides, until the band left the stage and led guests on a parade around the dance floor, from which few returned until it was time to leave.

“It was the best party I’ve ever been to,” says Melanie. “And the best part was, it was my own.”

Bob and Melanie Sabelhaus

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