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Foam party comes to Illusions Friday night

It took nearly a year, but the nightlife gods answered my prayer.

Last July, a foam party in Auburn inspired me to write a column about how the local nightlife scene needs more foam parties. "Here's my proposition, nightlife fans: Let's bring back the fun of foam," I wrote.

The column printed and I waited for the rewards of my advocacy journalism. At the end of the summer, I was still waiting.

Warm weather returned this year and I was still waiting. In fact, I was almost ready to abandon my mission.

Until I saw this weekend's nightlife lineup.

Columbus hot spot Illusions is hosting a foam party Friday night. Behold the power of the press.

Unfamiliar with the parties? Fortunately, an official Wikipedia entry offers assistance. It defines a foam party as "a social event in which participants dance to music on a dance floor covered in several feet of suds or bubbles dispensed from a foam machine." Wikipedia dates the shindigs back to 1932.

Most nightlife fans have at least one foam party memory. Some are pleasant, some involve tiny bubbles of discomfort.

I've been to one foam party in Columbus. Early in my time here, I ventured into a now-defunct nightclub armed with only waterproof mascara and a cheap pair of flip flops. I showed up alone and left alone, but strangely satisfied.

What makes a foam party successful?

At risk of stating the obvious, foam. It seems like it should be a given, but you want to offer enough suds and/or bubbles to transport your guests into another universe. A few sad puddles of water on the ground won't cut it.

Which brings me to another critical element: safety precautions. Of course, the party lends itself to excessive slipping and sliding.

In matters of this nature, there's a fine line between entertainment and crippling embarrassment. You want to ensure your guests avoid any major injuries.

Speaking of your guests, the foam party environment often lends itself to bikini tops and beach attire. You don't have to go that route. You do, however, want to avoid wearing your most expensive getup or most uncomfortable pair of high heels.

Finally, follow the rules that governed your childhood swimming pool. No excessive splashing. No crazy games of Marco Polo.

I'm glad I didn't give up on my foam party dream.

With luck, this is just the beginning of a newly revived chapter in Columbus nightlife. Together, we will bring back the fun of foam.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at 706-571-8516 or