Samantha Emily Evans reviews
St Andrews is essentially Hogwarts. JK Rowling has an honorary degree from the University of St Andrews, and in May 2012, St Andrews hosted the first conference on whether Harry Potter was worthy of academic study. It was very fitting that Mermaid’s Annual Christmas Ball was Harry Potter themed, and it was an enchanting and fun evening at that.
On November 29th, 2015, it was finally Christmas Ball. After a month of hype from daily Harry Potter quotes, preview articles, and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Ticket Queue”, the expectations were high.
Thankfully, Christmas Ball met expectations. The night was everything I wanted and everything I expected, it was an exciting and musical night of dancing, enchantment and fun!
We pre-partied with a blend of Bieber, Drake, and A Very Potter Musical, before heading to the Union and getting the first bus. Arriving early was definitely the best decision. Christmas Ball is not the night to be cool and arrive fashionably late. It’s the night to be keen, come early, and fill your bag of Pick & Mix, and that is exactly what we did.
The blue-lit entrance was filled with goodies, with the iconic sign at the entrance and print outs of the cover of the Daily Prophet. Chocolate fountains, a glass of bubbly, and the Accidentals welcomed to Hogwarts. At the entrance to the Kinkell Byre stood two knights. #PhotoOp.
Once in, it was straight to Jannettas Gelateria. I was on a sugar high, and they had so many flavours to choose from. Even Owen Jannetta couldn’t stay away from Hogwarts that night. With a cone in hand, it was time to take in what Christmas Ball is most known for, all the decorations.
There was so much thought and effort put in to every little detail, and I need to express my appreciation and the little moments of pure joy it brought me. The tables were decorated with golden snitches (Ferrero Rochers with wings!). I peed with Moaning Myrtle in the loo. The signs above the bars were authentic and charming. The drinks were fantastic with mulled wine, and butter beer! I ordered a Potter’s Party Potion Cauldron. I was expecting butter beer, thinking cauldron was just a metaphor. That was silly. I spent the rest of the night walking around with a huge cauldron filled with green WKD. I made a lot of cauldron friends, though.
There was an additional Great Hall. Fine Food & Dining Society and BlackHorn were serving delicious food, as people sat drinking and eating under the floating candles. They even had letters with wax seals hanging from the ceiling. In the corner was a photo booth, with the “Teach First” logo prominently on the bottom of each photograph.
There were a lot of lines, but also there were a lot of people. I heard one group say, “I saw a lot of people in a line, and figured there must be something cool at the end, so we just stood in it.” They were in line to Santa’s Grotto, where the Alleycats were performing. So, there actually was something cool at the end.
Finally, it was time to dance. Blueswater was creating one big dance party, as they performed lots of retro and country tunes, even Elvis’ “Blue Suede Shoes”. Then Joe Jonas took the stage, and we went from fun and toe tapping to hip and dubby. And then, with no introduction BBC Radio 1 DJ Matt Edmondson took the stage. Edmonson turned the Kinkell cow barn into a London nightclub. It was like the roof of the Byre was decorated in mistletoe, and elbows were been thrown everywhere, as we danced the night away. It was a fantastic evening, and I left happily on the Hogwarts Express, aka the bus back to our very own Hogwarts.
* While it was overall an amazing evening, I would like to point out, that once again – like every ball this year–the coatroom was still hectic and a struggle. I think it is really important to address this reoccurring issue. By the power vested in me, I call together the best minds of our ball organizing generation to fix this problem! 😛
Samantha Emily Evans
Featured images by Kristen Tsubota