• Erin Boyle

Candy Canes and Christmas Trees: A Christmas Ball Like No Other

The levels of excitement leading up to Christmas Ball were unmatched during the semester, and the night exceeded all expectations. Tickets sold out so fast that many students missed out on a magical night. Stories of previous Christmas Balls fueled our imagination of how the night would unfold. It turned out to be the perfect way to welcome the Holiday season and celebrate the end of our first semester back to events.

Walking into the main barn was a jaw-dropping experience. After your complimentary glass of Cava was carefully handed to you by a committee member, guests were welcome to roam the three themed areas of the event.

The Land of Sweets was arguably the most thoughtfully decorated. Three different candy-themed backdrops drew guests for their obligatory profile picture update photoshoot. Tables were scattered with chocolate coins and sweets accompanied by small trees hung with candy canes to add to the festive spirit. A cart with jars of candies and chocolates was beaten only by the free crepes served in various sweet flavours. This drew a line almost as long as the marquee itself.

The waltz of the snowflakes highlighted the dance prowess of the blue angels. Two dancers performed for guests and stunned the partying guests with their poise and grace. Guests first spotted the dancers in their blue tulle stunning costumes through the light branch tunnel, which doubled as another photo backdrop later in the night.

The sugarplum wonderland was alight with fairy lights which made the shiny balloons and sparkling Christmas trees glisten. Though less complex in this area, the decorations complemented the busy bar area. They drew guests from the dance floor who needed a break.

The dancefloor was as busy as any other event this semester. Set after set of well-loved performers treated the crowd to Christmas and popular classics. JazzWorks kicked off the main stage. While there was still room, many guests took the opportunity to practice their swing dancing to the jazz covers songs. The Jazz Works singer, Anna Lyons, must be applauded. Her voice stood out and mixed beautifully with the accompaniment and solos of her fellow performers.

In the Land of Sweets, the acapella groups we know and lover performed a selection of their best songs. The festive tunes were well received as onlookers gathered at tables and stood along the sides of the tent. Unsurprisingly, The Other Guys’ performance drew a crowd from the main room into the marquee. While the earlier Hummingbirds performance treated guests to equally beautiful harmonies while they enjoyed their sweet treats.

The later sets from Tim Berger and Ben Hawken were a true highlight of the night. Tim Berger’s set lured guests onto the dance floor to enjoy a mix of dance and popular hits. The atmosphere during this set was matched only by Ben Hawken’s performance later in the night. If St Andrews students love anything more than dance music, it is classic hits they can scream their hearts out to. The combination of popular music and festive hits matched the vibe of the crowd perfectly. Very few students dance all night at large events. However, many students made an exception to this rule because of the quality of the music at Christmas Ball.

Some attendees were disappointed they weren’t able to spend longer at Kinkell. The long wait times for busses coming into the estate was frustrating for students eager to join in the revelry. This was mirrored in a rush at the end of the night. As most students wanted to stay for the last song, there was a mass movement of guests toward the doors, which no amount of security could have prevented. It is simply a shame that the doors are not wider and the coat check lines faster. With the lights up and adrenaline levels falling, this took the excitement of the night down towards the end.

That is not to say that Christmas Ball does not qualify as one of the best events of the year so far. The hype surrounding the night was well deserved, and the combination of beautiful decorations, exciting performances, and well-selected songs made Christmas ball the perfect start of the festive season.

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