Attendees at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in New Orleans got a visit from a special guest at the welcome reception — the Green Fairy, better known as absinthe, a green liqueur that was once banned in the United States for being too strong.

La Fee Verte, or the Green Fairy, is no longer toxic in its present formulation, but it was the centerpiece of the AICPA's welcome reception at the Sheraton New Orleans. With the help of Ten50 Special Events, Baltimore, AICPA recreated the cafes of 19th Century Paris and New Orleans, where absinthe was a popular drink.

To transform guests to the era, Ten50 produced a dreamy, green ambience using green lights and curtains. In each corner of the room, bars were set up where guests could choose among absinthe-based cocktails.

AICPA goes out of its way each year to create a unique theme for the welcome reception, so its members have come to expect the unexpected.