People.com Entertainment TV Kathie Lee Gifford's Farewell to' Today' Party Was a Blast: See the Photos! After 11 years on the morning show, Gifford will sign off on April 5 By Kate Hogan Kate Hogan Instagram Twitter Kate Hogan is Director of Digital Specials and Features at PEOPLE. In her 14 years at the brand, she has covered everything from pets and babies to style and Sexiest Man Alive, interviewing celebrities including Céline Dion, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Chris Evans. Currently, she oversees the creation of photo galleries that complement breaking news and major PEOPLE moments like The Beautiful Issue and 100 Reasons to Love America. She has offered expert celebrity commentary on Good Morning America and Access Hollywood. Before joining PEOPLE in 2008, Kate was an editorial assistant at Morris Visitor Publications. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication and resides outside of Chicago with her husband and three kids. People Editorial Guidelines and Eric Todisco Published on March 27, 2019 05:21 PM Share Tweet Pin Email 01 of 08 Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock With Kathie Lee Gifford's exit from Today set for April 5, the TV personality celebrated her 11 years on the morning show with friends and colleagues on Tuesday night at the Times Square Edition Hotel in N.Y.C. Speaking to PEOPLE of her chemistry with Gifford, co-host Hoda Kotb said, "Kathie used to say, 'If we are having fun, they are having fun.' I remember you always think you are trying to entertain. You don’t have to do that, you just have to have this." 02 of 08 Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock Much of the Today family was there, including Dylan Dreyer, Savannah Guthrie, Carson Daly, Kotb and Lester Holt. "It doesn’t get more real, I swear to you," Daly told PEOPLE of Gifford. "Early in the morning, wearing sweats, tired. We see each other, the Today family, at the most vulnerable points in a human being’s life. Everyday all day, and she is the living embodiment with class and style." 03 of 08 Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock "I think a lot of women felt they had that exact friendship with their girlfriend," Kotb said of the pair's dynamic. "I remember one Halloween they were like, ‘Hey I’m Kathie Lee and I’m Hoda!’ I think we all have a girlfriend and want to sit around and have wine with them at 10 a.m. It was just fun." 04 of 08 Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock NBC colleagues left notes for Gifford on a beautiful plant in the party entryway. 05 of 08 Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock "You don’t say goodbye to the best in the business without a party!!" Dreyer wrote on Instagram. "@kathielgifford may God watch over you as you celebrate this next chapter of your incredible life! We’re rooting for you all the way!!" 06 of 08 Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock Gifford and Kotb took a spin on sweetcycle blender bikes, which made frozé with Gifford's Gifft Rose wine. 07 of 08 Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock Speaking to PEOPLE, Meredith Vieira reflected on Gifford's professionalism. "She was herself," she said. "To be authentic on television, that is a tall order. You wouldn’t think so, but people tend to remake their image and sort of present somebody they think the rest of the world wants. Kathie Lee never did that, she was her. You either liked her or didn’t, and that is why she could be polarizing for folks, or she was easy to spoof on SNL, because she didn’t care. She kept it real, and that is a great quality to have." 08 of 08 Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock Dr. Oz was among the party guests who had a fabulous time on the sweetcycle blender bikes.