USUAA student government will hold their masquerade ball April 5 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Anchorage at 8 p.m. till 1 a.m. April 6.
Normally part of Winterfest, the event was once just a dance that happened in the spring. One year, when the dance was hosted as a Mardi Gras dance, the reception to the masquerade theme was liked so much that the spring dance then morphed into the masquerade ball. This year the theme for the masquerade ball is steampunk.
Students who have gone in years past have enjoyed the event and love the fun of wearing masks to a dance.
“I had a lot of fun,” said Bradford Gaines, an undeclared major at UAA, who attended the masquerade ball last year. “If everybody wore a mask it would make it so much better.”
“I’m beyond stoked to go to this,” said Danny Field, natural and biological sciences double major, who has never been to a masquerade. “I’m actually excited for this theme of wearing a mask and not having people see my face.”
Masquerades are most often done as a part of Carnival season, which usually occurs before the Christian religious period known as Lent. Because Carnival is usually practiced as something before Lent, Carnival festivities occur most often in places with Catholic and Eastern Orthodox populations.
Carnivals didn’t necessarily begin as religious practices, such as in medieval Italy, where the carnival of Venice is the most notable, or in France where in celebration of Charles VI of France’s marriage. For Charles VI of France’s marriage they held what is known as “Bal des Ardents” or “Burning Men’s Ball,” where dancers wore outfits covered in pitch that would catch on fire if one came too close to a torch that were littered around the dance floor.
Masquerades have grown in popularity spreading across the world and many masquerade events are secular and provide participants a time to dress up and show off.
Student tickets are $15 in advance and $25 at the door. Guest tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the Student Union Information Desk or www.uaatix.com. UAA student ID needed at the door for students and valid state ID for guests. Shuttles from the Bookstore and Gorsuch Commons will run every 15 minutes from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. No entry is allowed after 11:30 p.m.