We had a ball the other day...literally!A large group of us went to the Harvest Ball in Lansing, Michigan on the 22 of October. It's held in an old church, which gives it a very period feel. What's nice about this ball is that, first of all it's limited to 100 people (tickets are sold ahead of time). The other thing is that it does not follow a reenactment. Yes, you heard me - it's a ball for a ball's sake and attendees are refreshed and raring to dance without having a full day of reenacting behind them.
The ladies literally spend nearly half of the day dolling themselves up to be as pretty as can be. My wife says the hair takes the longest.
The finest band in the land - Glen Morningstar's Michigan Ruff Water String Band - are our musicians, and Glenn will announce at the beginning of the evening that because most of us there are "seasoned" dancers he likes to try new old-time dances on us. But he will also have the favorites such as the Virginia Reel and the Spanish Waltz.
One of the nicest traditions for a few of us is to meet for dinner beforehand, and we always head to the Okemos (a tiny town near Lansing) Cracker Barrel restaurant. What a sight we are to the waitresses and patrons alike! At times we may get multiple waitresses just so they can have a chance to speak with us.
This year we made quite a splash, for there were eighteen of us in attendance! We made sure we took plenty of photographs to commemorate the day, including sitting in the rockers outside the restaurant.
Two of the gentlemen enjoyed a friendly game of checkers.
Ball day has become a special part of our reenacting year, and because wintertime is just around the bend many of us may not see each other until next spring (just like in the old days!) and that makes this day even more of a grand affair.
(Click any of the photos in this - or any other - post to get a larger image)