Dressing up for the ball

Monday, June 20, 2005
This year's Red House Ball is the principal fundraiser for the Red House Interpretive Center in downtown.

In costume or not, guests will enjoy dining and dancing at the upcoming Red House Ball on Saturday at the Arena Building. Decorations will bring to mind the simplicity of pioneer days with punched tin lanterns aglow with candlelight and displays of wildflowers atop mirrored tiles. An array of activities are planned.

For those who want to dress the part, costumes of any era are encouraged. Military uniforms from any war would fill the bill, as would togas, Victorian or medieval attire, the cowboy look and even styles from the roaring twenties.

Those who can't think of a costume may come in their 21st-century clothes and be just as welcome.

Guests without costumes can change their minds and still don Civil War attire from Paddlewheel Old Time Photos by purchasing a photo of themselves in costume for about $25. A portion of that cost will be donated back to the Red House. Purchased photos will be ready that night.

New activities this year

The previous Red House Ball held in 2003 invited guests to dress like pioneers and enjoy a gourmet dinner and dancing, with proceeds benefiting Red House construction costs.

This year's ball will feature a supper catered by The Branding Iron in Jackson, including barbecue sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans, slaw and soft drinks.

The ticket price will include all entertainment and the meal.

Guests may participate in the historical fashion parade where they will be introduced and recognized for their historical costume while modeling.

Besides the fashion parade, there will be Red House bingo centered on Lewis and Clark and Red House terminology.

Dancers can take their pick from Cape Friends of Traditional Music and Dance or music by Manitou featuring an array of oldies, rock and roll, country, electric fiddle, guitar and a little Cajun.

For those with a discerning palate for Missouri wines, an informal wine-tasting with wine connoisseur Larry Havelock-Jackson will be featured. Well known for producing several Rotary wine-tasting events, Havelock-Jackson will suggest wines best suited to particular dishes.

The 2005 Red House Ball serves as the Red House Foundation's principal fund raiser. To date, $17,200 of the $100,000 goal has been met. Interest from the foundation money will be used for major repairs and special events at the Red House Interpretive Center. All proceeds from the ball will benefit the foundation.

Participation in the silent auction is another source of entertainment for ball-goers. More than 30 items, many one of a kind, have been donated already, such as a framed arrowhead collection and a personalized collage by Margaret Dement, the artist responsible for the mural directly behind the Red House Interpretive Center.

Dement will offer a 20-by-30-inch personalized collage, with up to three image selections of the winner's choice. More traditional food and gift baskets are also on the auction block.

To put everyone in a festive mood, the same Louis Lorimier from the Convention and Visitors Bureau's "Rediscover Your Cape" event held in October will be greeting guests throughout the night.

The event will be held from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are available at the Arena Building, Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cape River Heritage Museum and the Red House.

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