“The Magic of Kiwanis” Gala to be Held at Famous Houdini Estate

Photo by Ashley Erikson

Tucked away off Laurel Canyon Blvd, is the infamous $15 million Houdini Estate®.  Behind its iron gates hides a vast landscape of gardens, paths, waterfalls, and an Edwardian mansion where Harry Houdini was known to dazzle guests and escape daring feats up until his death in 1926.

The Kiwanis Club of Burbank will be taking over the estate on March 25th for their annual gala, “The Magic of Kiwanis.”  This year marks the 100th year that the service organization has been established as it continues to support physical, moral, and financial projects and programs throughout the community. The gala is a way to celebrate the magic that the Kiwanis does for the city and to raise funds for continued service.

Photo by Ashley Erikson

A night like this requires magic, and event chairperson Cari Pelayo, has six incredible magicians who will be walking the grounds and performing at different locations around the estate. Pelayo met magician, Raul Fernandez, through a friend at the Magic Castle who passed in December of 2021. Fernandez who took the role of Producer and Talent Coordinator for the event and worked with Pelayo to bring in the other magicians to the gala in honor of their friend’s memory. Fernandez is also the Headmaster of Magic University for the Academy of Magical Arts at the Magic Castle. Other magicians include Cydney, Migz, Sirinda, Raven and The great Joedini.

The event begins at 6:00 PM on March 25th but doors open at 5:00 pm.  It’s the perfect time to take in the beauty of the gardens and grounds before the sun goes down and the lights kick on. Stone pathways hide around every corner just waiting to be discovered. Some lead to secret terraces, stone statues, the backside of waterfalls, and one will even guide you to the mysterious and innovative items Houdini used for his famous acts.

Cari discusses event plans. Photo by Ashley Erikson

Upon arrival of the event, guests will be carted to the estate where tours of the four bedroom mansion will be ongoing through the night. This includes the Monkey Room, a fully glass-walled room on the upper outside deck of the house that is decorated with antique furniture, a monkey chandelier and breathtaking views of the property. Also on that deck you’ll find a swimming pool where Houdini was known to practice some of his escape tricks.

Over 12 independent chefs from local and national restaurants will be serving up culinary delights throughout the night at different locations of the estate. Pelayo has partnered with Chef Charly Houegban, who has been a true mastermind behind the event. Houegban is the owner of Cafe Eighteen48, a farm-to-table sustainable restaurant in Pomona, and is also the Executive Chef at Loews Hollywood, a AAA Four Diamond rated luxury hotel.

Photo by Ashley Erikson

Tennessee Minority-Owned Wine and Spirits Association will be represented at the gala with Twisted Sistuhs, Fiyori Vodka, Guidance Whiskey, Disbelef Tequila, and Grand Legend Organic Tequila.  All food and drinks are included in the main event ticket which costs $150, a fair price for the entertainment and amenities provided at the gala.

Tickets can be purchased from the Kiwanis Club of Burbank’s gala website www.themagicofkiwanis.com. If going to the website on a mobile device, look for the three black lines at the top right of the page for a drop-down menu that leads to sponsorship info and ticket purchasing. Space is limited at the event, so get your tickets today!

Check out our YouTube video of the Houdini Estate® here.

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