This weekend, Taylor and I geeked out and went to the pinnacle event of any true Potterhead. That’s right. The Yule Ball.
I was ramped up for this all week. Especially in light of Alan Rickman’s recent passing away, it seemed like the perfect way to spend my weekend. We got our tickets last minute, so I hounded over Amazon, looking for clothing to match our appropriate, while self-chosen houses (in case you didn’t know, Slytherin is the best house, but we’ll talk about that another time).
Hosted by Geek’d Out Events (who you should go like on FB), there were a lot of things they did right. They picked a great venue! What could be more perfect than an event center within a library. Upon checking in, you received a wrist band in the color of your choice. Guests were welcome to either dress formally for the event or to come in costume. My life was completely made when they brought out a beautiful, live Eurasian owl named Bowga. I was able to stroke his plumage and get a picture with him. Seriously, I will have to look into getting my falconer’s license now. They also had a white-bellied crow there, who would happily snatch up any dollar bills held out in front of him. Beautiful backdrops were set up of Diagon Alley and Platform 9 3/4 for you to take a picture in front of. Later in the evening, the officially hired characters came out for you to take pictures with as well. Out of all of these, Mad Eye Moody and Hagrid were definitely the stars. Hagrid was up on high platform shoes, towering over the guests and giving him that lumbering Hagrid walk. Mad Eye Moody freaking looked like the twin of Brendan Gleeson, and his costume was completely legit. Professors McGonagall, Trelawney, and Sprout also stole the show and delighted the crowd with their rendition of All the Single Witches. If you liked it then you should’ve put a spell on it. And of course, a moment of tribute was given to our beloved Alan Rickman.
I promise it was even better live.
However, the inner geek and party planner was a bit disappointed with some of the lack of the attention to detail. While the entrance area of the event screamed Harry Potter, the actual event and dance space completely lacked luster. Once you had seen the owl and snapped a couple a pictures, there was also nothing left to do but dance. Which is fine. Dancing is great and all. But the song choices were often that confusing tempo, where it’s not quite a fast dance, but it’s also not a slow dance. The DJs attempts at humor and direction were feeble at best. The dessert bar was more of an assortment of random candy that didn’t have much, if any, to do with the theme of the party, but it should have been redeemed the butterbeer. Oh the butterbeer.
Let’s get something straight here. We love butterbeer. Since we’ve never been granted the opportunity to go to Harry Potterland, we make do with my homemade version. I throw at least one Harry Potter party a year just to have an excuse to make it. What should have been, in my humble opinion, the crowning achievement of the event and snack bar was completely disgusting. I couldn’t finish mine. It was just plain yucky. Clearly, fame isn’t everything.
I was a bit surprised that more people didn’t costume up. Enough people were that we didn’t feel out of place at all. But I did expect there to be more. Regardless, there were some beautiful dresses out there. What really got my blood boiling though was the couple dressed up as Cinderella and Prince Charming. Normally that kind of thing wouldn’t bother me. But the Slytherin purist within was outraged. I don’t know if they saw the word ball and somehow missed the memo that it was a Harry Potter thing or what.
Anyway, so I’m confused. Did you even have a good time? Should I go to this thing or not?
Okay, okay. Sorry for being a downer. Conclusion: yes, you should. The proceeds all go to the Mascot Miracle Foundation, a charity that helps create positive experiences for ill children. From pictures of Yule Balls past, I gather the event differs from year to year. It provided the perfect excuse to buy an Hogwarts apparel that I had been wanting. And despite my grumbles and complaints, Taylor and I had a great time together dancing, talking, dressing up, and getting some time away from our cute, little warlock at home. I appreciate having a husband who’s willing to geek out with me, wear a costume, and play along. He really is the best. Since the butterbeer was such a let down, we decided to go home, make some, and have our own magical evening.