[Event] Reptile’s Random Reviews: Harry Potter Yule Ball 2020
Thanks to the prompting of a friend, on Saturday, January 18th, I attended the Harry Potter-themed Yule Ball at the Pabst / Riverside/ Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The event put on by AwkwardNerd Events is in its 4th year, and judging by the turnout I’m guessing this will be an ongoing event. The ballroom was decked out in Hogwarts-themed decorations and they tried to recreate the looks of the Yule Ball from the Harry Potter films. AkwardNerd pulled out all the stops and had Harry Potter-themed drinks, staff dressed as Harry Potter movie characters, live music, and even dance instructors to teach the novice how to Waltz, followed by a Waltz Champion dance, a Costume contest, and a DJ spinning dance music for the rest of the night.
All were welcome to the attend the Yule Ball, but the theme of the night was still Harry Potter, as could be seen by your surroundings and the many Harry Potter-themed costumes the attendees were wearing.
If you were there stag, as I was, there were still things to see and do besides imbibing beverages such as the Black Mark or the delicious alcoholic Butter Beer. They also had normal bar fare for those preferring their run-of-the-mill drinks. Besides the wandering Harry Potter characters, there were vendors selling various Harry Potter-themed wares. There were also photo op areas upstairs where you could get your photo professionally taken or use the backdrops to take a shot or two yourself.
They had the ever self-promoting Professor Gilderoy Lockhart set up in a library-ish area where you could sit and chat or take photos with him. If you were in the mood, they also had a Tarot card reader who would happily tell you your fortune, as well as a wandering photographer whom I believe was taking pictures for their own website.
On the whole, the atmosphere was enjoyable, the music was loud, the crowd was very friendly and well-dressed in all sorts of ballroom regalia. There were formal, full, fancy ball gowns, men in tuxedos, people dressed in Harry Potter robes and costumes, and people in business casual dress.
There were 3 levels of tickets available for purchase. The first was the VIW (very important wizard), the second being the Early Entry, which got you in with the VIWs an hour early, but none of the extras that were included with the VIW pass. Finally there was general admission, which got you into the Ball at 8 pm. I went with the Early Entry and snagged a table at the side of the Ballroom floor, giving me a good view of all the festivities and Waltz lessons.
At the end of the night, I have to say I had a good time; well, except for the parking hassle. Next year, I will purchase the reduced parking pass because without it, they were charging up to $30 to park. OUCH! I did manage to find cheaper parking close by.
I give AwkwardNerd Events Yule Ball 4.5 out of 5 Stars and am looking forward to going again.
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