Lemonade from lemons and Christmas from Halloween

Posted 11/1/23

Cranston High School West Student Josh Clapprood has demonstrated the spark of inspiration by taking his mother’s idea of a Christmas-themed Halloween party and dressing it to the nines.

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Lemonade from lemons and Christmas from Halloween


Cranston High School West Student Josh Clapprood has demonstrated the spark of inspiration by taking his mother’s idea of a Christmas-themed Halloween party and dressing it to the nines.

A junior at Cranston West, Josh has a history of throwing elaborate parties and is known for going all out when it comes to decorating for an event.

“I started when I helped my parents throw a Luau themed birthday party for my younger brother,” Josh explained. “They let me pick out the decorations and put it all together in our backyard. I then got the idea to throw a Halloween party a couple years ago. I don’t know what happened but I started thinking we could make a haunted house with fog machines and animatronics. My dad and I got really into it and we worked together to create a haunted house in our backyard with all these different themed rooms.”

His parties have become quite the sight to behold since that first event a few years ago, and the quality of his work could even be considered to put a professional to shame.

“He threw a Halloween party a couple years ago that you’d think was done by a professional- balloon arches, haunted house, etcetera,” his mother Gina Clapprood almost bragged.  “He then threw himself a “white” party for his 16th birthday that was, and still is, the talk of our family and friends.”

Josh remembers the “white” party well, after all he personally constructed professional looking balloon arches, a party hedge wall for people to take photos in front of and even made his own light up number 16 where each number was a full five feet tall. Setting up these elaborate celebrations has become a bit of a passion for Josh, and may even become a professional job one day, even if he didn’t get the place in West’s entrepreneurial program that he coveted.

“I actually wanted to go to West for their Entrepreneurial program but there were not any more spots available,” Josh explained. “Culinary was the next option I chose because of the creativity involved when putting food together. I figured I’d learn to at least cook, which is a skill we could all use, and if I learned something about hospitality it would be beneficial depending on what I decide to do for my career.”

During his time in the program, Josh said he hasn’t learned much about event planning, but has participated in a mock restaurant that they have to create as part of their senior portfolios.

“I feel that I have learned a lot by trial and error of the events I’ve helped put on and by observing other events I’ve attended,” he said. “I learn something from each one I’ve thrown, and that helps me put on an even better future events.”

While it wasn’t his first choice, he has hope the skills he learns from the program will eventually help him in the future when he becomes an entrepreneur, maybe even one where he helps others to throw the elaborate celebrations that he’s been throwing for years now.

“I don’t know yet if this is something that I want to do someday as my sole career,” he said, “but I do know it’s an aspect of it that I’d like to pursue, and I’ve heard I may be pretty good at it.”

However, Josh didn’t pull this love of elaborate parties out of nowhere. He said he was inspired to put in so much effort thanks to the well-thought-out parties his parents threw him when he was a child.

“I wanted my younger brother to experience a party like we used to,” said Josh. “So when they were trying to figure out a birthday party for him, I knew I wanted to plan a luau themed party. I think that also hearing them tell stories about their memories and then hearing our family and friends also talk about their memories from these parties that made me want to do this. I personally enjoy watching people walk into my party and seeing the look on their faces at what I’ve done to make the party as fun as I can. The more speechless they are, the happier I am.”

Whether Josh decided to become a professional party planner, a culinary artist or an entrepreneur remains to be seen, but with a flair for decorating and the will to put in the effort to make his work notable he will most definitely do well whatever he decides on.

Christmas, Halloween, party


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