It's always sad when a group of friends gradually disband. My husband and I have attended an annual party for three years now; actually he has been going for seven.
The first year I was invited, we hung with a large group of my husband's friends and aquaintances. We set up a small central camp, built a bonfire and spent all day and night eating, laughing, playing volleyball and drinking ourselves silly. The next year was much the same with the same tight group.
This year however, only five of these folks made an appearance and never really seemed to unite. It changed the whole tone of the party. While the setting is unparalled (riverside, woods, gardens, music, camping, interesting people), it seems that what made this such an enjoyable event in the past was simply the company.
The reasons for the diminishing numbers are probably many; a break-up that formed alliances, a competing event that weekend, a change of job or residence etc..., but
I still found it kind of sad.