Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Trick and Treat

This North Salem couple has Halloween in the bag



Hosts Renea and Duncan Dayton come out of the attic dressed to thrill.

Photos by Tyler Gustin

Renea and Duncan Dayton are no strangers to entertaining. In addition to welcoming friends and family at home, they regularly host events at Hayfields Café and Garden, which they own and operate. Stop by on a Sunday afternoon and find a workshop on how to build succulent pots or Christmas wreaths. Or come in on a Thursday evening for a rousing night of trivia or to listen to a local band while sipping on a glass of wine. 

The Daytons have interesting although very diverse backgrounds that happened to intersect at just the right time and place. The two met at Lime Rock Park in Lake-ville, where Duncan was racing cars and Renea was the director of marketing. For those who know them, most would probably agree that although Duncan has the horsepower behind him, it’s Renea who has the creative edge.

Prior to moving East, Renea also worked in marketing for the San Antonio Spurs as well as an event planning company who had a lot of sports clients. The company was called Outside the Box and proving herself worthy, what started as an internship while she was at Trinity University turned into a full-time job after she graduated.

“I learned the greatest things at this job—literally how to think outside the box, which is not always one’s natural tendency,” says Renea. “As an employee, the first thing you had to ask yourself was, ‘Why would they call us? What makes our company unique and different from the others?’ It’s about doing things that people haven’t seen or experienced before. It’s a combination of all the little details and unique elements, whether it’s interactive, themed or the setting.” 

So when asked what motivates someone to throw an over-the-top Halloween party Renea replied, “When I first started dating Duncan he had always hosted the traditional Christmas fête. It was large where 150 people were invited—you know, all the things one would expect from a party that size. The checklist approach, but not very personal.”

So, after hosting it together for a few years and fulfilling the social niceties they decided it was time to have a more intimate affair with close friends. “We wanted to have fun—do something different and it just so happened that that year Halloween fell on a Saturday.” 

The venue was the first consideration and on their property there was a horse barn, which sat empty from a former life begging for good use and attention. It had a large, long open aisle perfect as a communal gathering spot and individual stalls that beckoned for a creative mind to fill their space. Renea had a hay day—no pun intended. “This isn’t the kind of party we could throw every year because it would just be too hard to duplicate. Our first one was in 2010 and it was extravagant to say the least. When I proposed it to Duncan this time he agreed as long as I could do it on half the budget.” So Renea turned back to her “outside the box” schooling and took on the ultimate challenge of an event planner—make it great and do it yourself.

This time, instead of hiring professional actors from New York City, they hired high-school drama students. Renea designed everything from the invitations to each of the themed rooms. Unnecessary expenses like space heaters were eliminated and many decorations from the previous party had been saved and were used again. Owning Hayfields was a big help because it meant they weren’t paying retail for food.

The expectations for this past year’s party ran high, but no one was disappointed. The Daytonsthought it was as successful as the first and are already planning their next event. Friends had fun dressing in outrageous and original customs and a vote for the best one was awarded at the end of the evening.

Guests also moved among the stalls (each with its own vignette), either having their portraits taken, testing their vocal cords for the loudest scream, searching for their tombstone or just enjoying eating and drinking. 

“To me it’s all about the décor and ambience. If you have that nailed, no one’s really paying attention to what vintage year your wine came from!” exclaims Renea. “It’s a different take—that special little spin.” Different and special? Yes, we’d agree.

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

            

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

How We Met: Many Years Later

17 years after their first meeting Patrick and Jessica found love

In the Frames

Lawrence Becker’s special talent––Stop-motion animation

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

November 2018

Founders Hall's First-Ever Gingerbread House Decorating Contest! At this year’s bi-annual Wreath Festival, Founders Hall (https://founders-hall.org/) is introducing a fun new contest...

Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

Where:
Founders Hall of Ridgefield
193 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Founders Hall
Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Founders Hall's First-Ever Gingerbread House Decorating Contest! At this year’s bi-annual Wreath Festival, Founders Hall (https://founders-hall.org/) is introducing a fun new contest...

Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

Where:
Founders Hall of Ridgefield
193 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Founders Hall
Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A Grammy Award-winning son of the legendary Bob Marley, Stephen continues his father’s legacy with forward-thinking reggae. In addition to his critically acclaimed, award-winning solo albums,...

Cost: $56

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Founders Hall's First-Ever Gingerbread House Decorating Contest! At this year’s bi-annual Wreath Festival, Founders Hall (https://founders-hall.org/) is introducing a fun new contest...

Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

Where:
Founders Hall of Ridgefield
193 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Founders Hall
Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
Website »

More information

Ages 2 to 5 and caregiver Registration encouraged at shop.aldrichart.org   Create a work of art that celebrates the changing colors and seasons as autumn approaches! Use both real and...

Cost: $15; $12 member

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wednesday, November 14th at 4:00 PM. Open to all ages. Decorate an apple with candy to make it look like a turkey! This event is free and no registration is required. Co-sponsored with the NS...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

From Dixie with Love Featuring Trae Crowder, Corey Ryan Forrester & Drew Morgan Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 8pm Barts Tree Service Comedy Series Northeast Builders Emerging Artist...

Cost: $49.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

Comedians Trae Crowder (The Liberal Redneck), Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester bring the humor from their viral YouTube videos and best-selling book, Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin Dixie...

Cost: Tickets: $49.50 VIP Meet & Greet Ticket Bundle: $149.50

Where:
Ridgefield playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Barts Tree Service
Website »

More information

Founders Hall's First-Ever Gingerbread House Decorating Contest! At this year’s bi-annual Wreath Festival, Founders Hall (https://founders-hall.org/) is introducing a fun new contest...

Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

Where:
Founders Hall of Ridgefield
193 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Founders Hall
Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ages 21+ Registration required at shop.aldrichart.org   Learn the basics of figure painting with painter and Ridgefield resident Allison Meyler. Working from a live model, review composition,...

Cost: $25; $20 member

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us in celebrating the launch of the book published on the occasion of our current meta-group exhibition The Domestic Plane: New Perspectives on Tabletop Art Objects published by The Aldrich...

Cost: Free

Where:
Printed Matter Inc.
231 11th Avenue
New York, NY  10001
View map »


Website »

More information

Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 7:30pm Mountain Dew Country & Bluegrass Series Best known for their tours backing Steve Martin, this Grammy Award-winning, North Carolina-based sextet is...

Cost: $57.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

Founders Hall's First-Ever Gingerbread House Decorating Contest! At this year’s bi-annual Wreath Festival, Founders Hall (https://founders-hall.org/) is introducing a fun new contest...

Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

Where:
Founders Hall of Ridgefield
193 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Founders Hall
Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Friday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30. Free, no registration. Open to adults and older teens. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies in, but some basic supplies will be provided by the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

Founders Hall's First-Ever Gingerbread House Decorating Contest! At this year’s bi-annual Wreath Festival, Founders Hall (https://founders-hall.org/) is introducing a fun new contest...

Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

Where:
Founders Hall of Ridgefield
193 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Founders Hall
Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 14th Annual Festive Home...All That Glitters! opens Friday evening, November 16th with a preview party from 6-8pm.  For an entry fee of $20, attendees will...

Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

Westchester Oratorio Society, Artistic Director Benjamin Niemczyk, opens its 21st season with a concert entitled, “An Evening with Bach” at the South Salem Presbyterian Church,...

Cost: $15 to $50

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: Westchester Oratorio Society
Telephone: 800 838 3006
Contact Name: Joe Spallina
Website »

More information

Max Weinberg (longtime drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band) invites the audience to create the set list he and his crack four-piece group will play that night. Audience members...

Cost: Tickets: $60 VIP Private Meet & Greet Ticket Bundle: $175

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: (203) 438-5795
Contact Name: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

Founders Hall's First-Ever Gingerbread House Decorating Contest! At this year’s bi-annual Wreath Festival, Founders Hall (https://founders-hall.org/) is introducing a fun new contest...

Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

Where:
Founders Hall of Ridgefield
193 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Founders Hall
Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 14th Annual Festive Home...All That Glitters! opens Friday evening, November 16th with a preview party from 6-8pm.  For an entry fee of $20, attendees will...

Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
Website »

More information

Visit The Aldrich for FREE the Third Saturday of each month! See the latest in contemporary art and participate in family-friendly art-making workshops in The Studio.   Family Art-Making...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Saturday, November 17th from 12:00 - 3:00 PM for kids K+. Plan on staying with your children and having fun together.   This year’s annual STEAMFEST will feature Mad Science’s special...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On Saturday November 17 at 6 p.m. join a wonderful team of astronomers and view planets, stars, and constellations. Note: Families are invited to a special preview in the Learning Center...

Cost: $4/New Pond Farm member ($16 max/family), $6/non-member ($24 max/family)

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags