This party is a highly significant event in Opal’s life. Now that, with the help of Winn-Dixie, she has come out of her shell, she has been able to make some friends. Having friends to invite to a party is a huge deal for Opal, and she is keen to invite just about everyone she knows.
She starts by inviting her father and her friends to the party, including Miss Franny and Sweetie Pie. Since the party is going to be at Gloria’s house, she will obviously be there, too. Her friend Miss Franny also suggests that she invites Amanda Wilkinson, a girl who Opal describes as “pinch-faced” and difficult to get to know. It later transpires that the reason Amanda can be difficult is that she is mourning the death of her brother.
Otis is another character who Opal invites along. He is the man who offered Opal a job at Gertrude’s Pets, and he is known as being shy, extremely awkward around people, and a fantastic guitar player.
Owing to the fact that Gloria had made her promise to do so, Opal invites the Dewberry boys along to the party. Opal is initially not a big fan of Dunlap and Stevie Dewberry because they’ve been whispering about her behind her back and following around, all the while insisting on calling Gloria a witch. The party turns out to be an ice-breaker for Opal and the Dewberrys, who turned out to be acting out because they wanted her attention.