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Busing the Boozy

A party bus leaves a trail of glitter
Photo by Athena Delene.

The Facebook invite headline read “Party Bus!” It was a celebration for two friends, one moving away and the other turning 30. The theme was “Glitter.” Having never been on a party bus before, I was intrigued. And yes, there was a glitter theme, even though the party was scheduled for a sunny, Sunday afternoon. We were to be squired around to three wineries by My Party Bus.

Despite My Party Bus proprietor Sean Lee’s “No Glitter” rule, we all took our sparkles. It was a slightly surreal sight: 12 ladies decked out in glitter makeup and shimmering outfits waiting to be picked up — nighttime clubbing attire meets wine country.

Lee’s other rules include no throwing items out of windows, no taking alcohol off the bus and no standing on the seats. I was sure we’d be able to abide by most of them. 

Lee started My Party Bus in 2011. He plays host while his father, Richard Lee, drives. 

“I felt there was a need for more than what was here, something less claustrophobic than a limo,” Lee says. 

His business is as much a mix of wine and brewery tours, club-hopping and tailgating as it is children’s birthday parties, covered bridge tours and weddings. 

Saturday evenings are usually booked up to one month in advance, but many Friday nights are open for specialty tours of wineries or breweries where anyone can join the bus on an existing trip for $20 to $30 per person. 

For someone looking to book the bus for an event, it must be booked for a minimum of one hour, at $200. Rates vary after that, depending on the number of hours booked. 

While the bus can hold 20 people, our party was set at 12, leaving plenty of room to move around the sleek black interior of the bus. A gleaming pole was stationed in the back, daring us to give it a spin.

Lee says installing a pole was a no-brainer, and he’s thinking of installing a second. 

“I think of them as safety poles. They don’t spin around like stripper poles,” Lee says. “Some people are a little hesitant at first but by the end of it, it’s the grandmothers who are getting on it first.” 

For some, it takes a little lubrication in the form of alcohol to get up the guts to take a spin. Alcohol can be brought and consumed on the bus, as long as everyone riding is 21 or over. There is also room for snacks; Lee provides water. 

As the afternoon wore on, the music on the bus grew louder. Lee has an iPod loaded with different playlists, but guests can bring their own music. We opted for a heavy rotation of bass thumping and the bus’ disco lights dazzling.

We managed to stay off the seats, the pole got a workout and the evening ended with a good number of wine bottles both drank and procured. Glitter or no glitter, I’ll be back on My Party Bus soon.

To catch My Party Bus, see my-party-bus.net or call 554-7979.