November 20, 2015
Possibly the most expensive party ever thrown, the billion dollar camping trip was held over three days in October during the year 1971. It was thrown by the Shah of Persia, and celebrated the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire.
A Scenic Location
2500th anniversary are a big deal. The Shah deeply believed that no expense should be spared. Rather than hold the party in the dingy and crowded city, he elected to have it beautiful, scenic Persepolis, near the tomb of Cyrus I. A team of French architects and interior designers were flow in. They designed and created 50 tents, each the size of a large home. The largest tent, which was to be the banquet hall, was over 68 meters long and took over a year to build.
Sparing No Expenses
The Shah seemed determined to make this the most expensive part of all time. The amenities were beyond extravagant. A small forest was planted near the tents. Over 50,000 songbirds were flown in from Europe. Over 18 tons of food were served over the three days event, including what many called an excessive amount of caviar which may have weighed in at almost 150 kilograms. The guest list was rather impressive. It included the Emperor of Ethiopia, the Vice-President of the United States, Spiro Agnew, and England’s Prince Philip and Princess Anne.
As elegant and extravagant as the party was, it wasn’t quite perfect. The Shah had 150 tons of kitchen equipment flown in from Paris, yet somehow only 1 coffee machine was included. Felix Real, one of the organizers for the event commented on the coffee situation, saying it quickly became a disaster. It could only brew 2 cups at a time which made it rather difficult to serve the over 500 guests.
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