A night in disguise
NU students stepped into the Halloween festivities on Thursday night, Oct. 27, with a masquerade ball. Formerly an armory, Tonawanda Castle was decorated with cobwebs, tombstones, spiders, and haunted Halloween figures for Niagara's first Halloween masquerade ball.
Girls dressed in an array of dresses and gowns, and the few gentlemen of the evening dressed to impress. All were hidden by elaborate masks, which were required to attend the event.
The masks hiding the faces of the attendees were adorned with elegant large feathers, glitter and sequins. Many were store-bought or homemade and a few masks were painted on faces. The one rule of the night was to not remove your mask.
This one and only rule did not last long before students quickly began to realize the difficulty in maneuvering with tiny eyeholes.
The night commenced with hors d'oeuvres, which consisted of cheese and crackers, fruit, meatballs, bruschetta, spinach artichoke dip, and much more. Alcoholic beverages were available for those of age, and non-alcoholic beverages were free for those under age. After some mingling, buffet stations were available for dinner, while classic dinner music played in the background. Roast beef sandwiches, pasta, potatoes with toppings, salad and vegetables were the dinner options, and a fondue chocolate station with fruits served as dessert. Once dinner concluded, upbeat music was played and masqueraders hit the dance floor.
Senior Nina Williams, programming director for NUSGA, organized the event. Anyone who talked to her prior to the event knew how excited she was and could tell how much she hoped for a successful turnout. Sitting down with Williams at the ball, she explained how she came up with the idea for a masquerade ball, one of the first at Niagara University.
Masquerades have always been something I love, and I was lucky enough for the rest of the cabinet to like my idea and not think that I was crazy!
She as inspired by the idea of a masquerade after seeing the movies Phantom of the Opera, and Marie Antoinette. I fell in love, she said.
Originally, NUSGA was thinking of a Halloween party, but we wanted to do something more classy, Williams said. What's classier than a masquerade ball?
The Tonawanda Castle was a perfect place for such a historic tradition, but originally Old Fort Niagara was where Williams had hoped to have the event. Unfortunately, the fort would only hold the event outside, which does not work with the weather in October.
I wanted it somewhere historic, that has an ˜eerieness' and creepiness to it, somewhere where we could go back in time for the night, Williams said.
Originally, 176 students signed up for the ball, which is the capacity of the castle (Campus Activities, in fact, had to create a waiting list for those who wanted to attend). Unfortunately, though, not everyone who signed up attended the event.
A lot of people backed out last minute, Williams said. I assume it's because this has never been done before.
Junior Molli Zahm attended the masquerade with her boyfriend and a few friends. Zahm was enjoying herself as she commented on the turnout.
Nina did a really good job! Zahm said. She said that it was a great venue and added, The decorations are perfect.
A group of freshman girls; Mary Wesolowski, Brittney Cognata, Sam Duthe and Mackenzie McGinnity, gathered around a table were also enjoying themselves. They thought there was a decent turnout. When asked what they liked the best, the fondue! They thought attending the ball was good reason to get dressed up and get really good, free food.
Williams's overall hopes that the masquerade ball can create a tradition at NU. I wanted to leave a strong legacy she shared.
I'm not the norm of student government she said stating that she thinks she adds something a little different to the organization. She hopes to coordinate more events throughout the year like this.