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9 Amazing Themes for a Gala That Draw a Crowd

A gala is a fanciful affair that can take a million different directions; this list of gala themes can get you started choosing the one that wows your guest list.

showgirls at casino 0518


A casino gala theme is full of possibilities. This theme starts at the door with an upscale entrance, service, and welcome befitting a casino. It continues into a space with lighting and décor that sets the mood. The gala menu should make guests feel like they hit it big, followed by a mainstage act that makes a big impression. This theme demands a band that makes a big impression, comedian, or mentalist that can adapt their act to the occasion. 

derby entertainer at corporate event

Kentucky Derby

This gala theme should make guests feel the excitement of race day with pre-race buzz and unique event details. Guests’ll be ready to don their most spectacular hats and choose the winner, especially when they walk into a derby-worthy gala. The event planning starts with themed invites and continues with music and photo opps with jockeys that look ready to ride.

Winter Wonderland

This seasonal gala theme is a spectacular nod to all the wonders of the season. The gala can be a sea of white décor that resembles a fresh snowfall or a colorful occasion with tones of the season. A winter wonderland event practically screams for lighting and remarkable décor. The décor should set the scene for a scrumptious event menu and entertainment. The latter could include an orchestra, band, or a winter holiday act that puts guests in the spirit of the holiday.

red carpet entertainer with guests at masquerade themed charity gala

Masquerade Ball

A masquerade ball is a formal affair with a million opportunities to amaze guests. An event with this upscale gala theme should meet guests’ expectations with a formal welcome at the door. The theme should envelop guests as they enjoy every detail: luxurious décor, a delectable menu, and entertainment that exceeds their expectations. The exact choice for the latter depends on the target audience; a professional can help narrow down masquerade ball themed entertainment options.


A gala with a theater theme should provide drama in every event detail. This event theme should use dramatic colors that make guests feel like they are attending a wonderful performance. The atmosphere should start at the door with paparazzi making guests feel like stars or showgirls welcoming them to the show. Once in the door, the mood should continue with dramatic touches and over-the-top entertainment.

gangster and flapper entertainers

Roaring 20’s

A roaring 20s theme should transport guests back to a speakeasy with an arresting flair. The mood of this gala theme isn’t complete with period décor and bold entertainment. The latter should start with entertainers who look and act the era—perfect for photo opps! The entertainment doesn’t have to stop there; a phone call to a professional can produce a swinging band that jazzes up the occasion.

entertainers at nautical themed corporate event

Under the Sea

An under the sea theme demands over-the-top décor and entertainment. This event theme should make guests feel like they are diving into an experience, and deliver the best parts of the experience. When choosing an event venue is part of the process, an aquarium is the perfect backdrop (though this themed atmosphere can be created at any building).

aerialist serving drinks at charity event


A wine or ale tasting delivers the best local tastes—and every part of the sensory experience. This is an event that can be as formal as the occasion dictates; every element of the event should be coordinated and cohesive. As such, the event entertainment ideas for this theme vary from a unique server to acrobats to an orchestra or band.

Movie Theme

A movie theme can reflect the latest trends in movies or elicit all the feelings of a classic cinematic flick. There are numerous opportunities for bringing a movie atmosphere to life, such as with significant menu dishes or a fun photo opp.

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