Rose Marie Bogley Is Looking Forward to ‘Glitzing It Up' This Christmas Season


(Wednesday, December 13, 2006 2:11 PM EST)

Even after 31 years of hosting parties, hunt breakfasts and benefits in the Middleburg area, Rose Marie Bogley's entertaining schedule is still going strong.

“I just like parties,” said Bogley. “I'm a party girl.”

Upcoming is Bogley's traditional Christmas party, which has grown in extravagance through the years. She has accumulated so many decorations that an entire basement room and a garage are used for their storage.

“At Christmas, you can really glitz it up,” Bogley said during a recent interview.

And she will, with a Christmas tree in every room of her pre-Civil War home, a spread of food for her numerous guests and live vocalists.

“It's a major production,” she said, especially because she does all her own cooking. “I have it down to a science.”

Bogley moved to the area in the late 1960s after her husband, Samuel E. Bogley, a prominent Realtor in Maryland, died in a fox-hunting accident. A fox hunter herself, she did not want to keep commuting to Virginia to pursue her interest, and decided to make Middleburg her home.

After 10 years in Middleburg, she moved to her 400-acre Upperville farm that she calls “Peace and Plenty” at Bollingbrook.

An active part of the social scene for more than three decades, Bogley has witnessed some changes in the culture, but nothing significant.

More than before, “I find that different hunts stick together,” she said.

And in general, she said, she has observed that people are incredibly busy these days, including herself. She has been invited to 15 holiday events already.

But these changes over the years have not stopped Bogley from throwing at least five or six large-scale soirées each year.

She tries to make each one a little different. From barbecues by the pool to parties in the barn to meetings in the cannery, Bogley tries to use the 17 buildings on her land as fully as possible.

One of the grandest events, and one close to Bogley's heart, is the annual Middleburg Humane Foundation benefit. Her daughter, Hilleary Bogley, is the president of the foundation.

Coming up on its fourth year next June, the event always sells out. Tents are set up by Bogley's house, and the 500 guests sit at tables decorated by renowned designers such as Ralph Lauren, Kathy Moss, Barry Dixon and Jimmy Emmet.

“All of them are trying outdo each other,” Bogley said. “And one is better than the next.”

All this planning and work might seem like a lot for the slight, blond woman to take on, but Bogley is up to the task.

“People ask me ‘why do you do it?'” she said. “And I answer, ‘Because I can!' I love entertaining.”

Rose Marie Bogley celebrates in front of a Christmas tree.

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