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Middle Earth Ball and Gaskell Winter Ball in the Bay Area in Feb.

February 2014 events
Jean Martin

There are two costume events of note in Feb. in the San Francisco Bay Area. One is a “Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” ball in Alameda, Calif., and the other is a Victorian ball in Oakland, Calif.

PEERS The Middle Earth Ball
Feb. 1
Alameda Elks Lodge
This ball is inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” Celtic rock band Avalon Rising will be playing a number of Tolkien songs as well as regular favorites such as waltzes, polkas, mazurkas, reels, set dances and country dances. Additional entertainment will be provided by the Period Events & Entertainments Re-creation Society (PEERS) cast who will be portraying characters from the “Hobbit” novel. In particular, the actual setting for the ball is the party in the great hall at Lake-Town hosted by the Master to welcome the return of the King Under the Mountain.

However, visitors from all over Middle Earth are welcome at the ball. This includes humans, elves, dwarves, wizards and hobbits alike. Suggested costumes are Medieval, Renaissance, Middle-Eastern, Pre-Raphaelite, late Georgian or early Victorian. Restoration costume is also appropriate as worn by the burghers of Lake-Town in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” film. Of course, fantasy costumes inspired by the “Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” books and movies are admired but not required. Modern evening dress is perfectly acceptable.

There is a pre-ball vintage dance class at 7:00 p.m. and formal dancing begins at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 at the door.

Gaskell Winter Ball
Feb. 22
Oakland Scottish Rite Center
The Gaskell Ball is a formal ball where you can experience vintage dancing to live music provided by The Brassworks Band in a beautiful ballroom. This Winter Ball is a chance to dress up in elegant Victorian costumes and immerse yourself in the time period. The organizers encourage attendees to dress to impress and those in jeans in t-shirts will not be admitted. For more information on costumes, check out the Gaskell Ball website’s costuming page.

There is a quick dance class at 7:45 p.m. the evening of the ball and four sets of dancing go from 8:30 p.m. until midnight. Dances include the Victorian waltz, galop, mazurka and schottische. Admission for the evening dance class as well as the ball is $20 at the door.

Copyright 2014, Jean Martin.

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