As you walk towards the house and into the backyard, you will see big, bold and bright letters that spell out “Tanafest.” This “Tanafest” sign symbolizes an annual birthday celebration for Montana Mauro, who is better known as the “party animal.” This festival has gone on for the past several years and took place in mid-July. The night before the big day, at least eighty people came to Long Island from near and far to take part in this long weekend celebration. The excitement builds, and everyone is eager to party hard around the clock. Last week Montana Mauro invited his friends to his birthday party. He also requested them to stay at his place at the party for a night festive.
The day is finally here. Everyone is gathered at the party yard, and more guests are trooping in. Without wasting time, it is time to cut the cake. In the blink of an eye, the yard becomes wall to wall of people. Walking past the crowd and going further into the yard, one is surprised at the sight of forty tents set up quickly and ready to cage these wild animals.
As the sun rises on the morning of July 23rd, 2017, the animals’ awakened, ready to dive into the booze and beer filled bar. One realizes that you cannot recognize some of the guests, but since it is feasting time, no one is going to waste his energy introducing who he is. One can guess they are his neighbours, relatives, and friends. The party is to be celebrated in the yard. Even passers-by’s can recognize that there is a big celebration going on by the loud noise coming from the compound. Songs of congratulating Montana on his birthday blow the air as everyone sings happy birthday and as he cuts the cake. Everyone is seen congratulating him.
Motivated by the loud music, the yard becomes a sea of dancers. One watches people going to and from the refrigerator popping the tops off of their cold beers and letting them fall on the floor which is covered with dirt and pieces of broken beer bottles. Viewed from a sober 18-year-old, it is almost impossible to grasp the concept of how these people can consume all this alcohol and have such a high tolerance to alcohol. Throughout the day, people play backyard games such as KanJam, Cornhole, and Ladderball Toss. From the view of somebody sober, all you see are frisbees and bean bags flying in the air, not coming anywhere near their targets. The aroma of hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill fills the air, attracting most of the party-goers towards the barbeque. One can see them acting like vultures as they fight for food.
This food will give them the stamina they need to continue partying for the next two days. It is important that they gather enough energy to exercise as well as showcase their dancing moves. Everyone wants to stand out as the best on the floor. As they sink their teeth into burgers and hotdogs, the tasty food does not satisfy them. Still hungry, they are already reaching for more. People walk around with nothing but bathing suits as they busk in the hot summer sun. Everyone has their “red solo cup” in hand as it sweats from condensation. The crowd does not seem to realize the incredible mess they are making as they continue to party. They bump into each other, almost falling and are completely unaware.
As the sun sets and day becomes night, the moon casts a glow over the pool. The D.J. cranks up the music to maximum volume. It is as if the backyard becomes a nightclub. You can feel the ground shake as the dancing intensifies. There is not one person standing still. A dance off begins. When some guests get tired, they move to the sidelines and continue watching the remaining dancers show off their incredible moves. However, some just look plain crazy. The music plays on, but the dance floor continues to be empty. They are “dropping like flies.” Only the strong continue dancing; you can call it “survival of the fittest.”
Just past midnight, the pizza arrives. As the delivery guy ventures into the “backyard nightclub,” he is greeted by the hungry animals. It is feeding time again. Fast and furious, the pizza is devoured. Finally, the crowd is tired and content. Looking at them, it is very clear that they are exhausted. Fortunately, the tents are already pitched which it makes an easy task for everyone to creep in and go to sleep. It is time to call it a night. One may have attended so many birthday parties; however, the one that it’s possible to candidly remember like this one of Montana Mauro.
The celebration is one of the memories that one cannot forget. Until next year, it has been a party and once again everybody is eager for another birthday.It has been a long weekend. Early the next morning, the animals rise from their cages and pack up their belongings ready to leave. As they walk out of the backyard, they say their final goodbye to each other and of course to “Tanacabana.” Once everyone makes it into the front yard, you hear someone yell out “until next year!” and the countdown for “Tanafest” 2018 begins.