Fall Ball 2004
|Fall Ball 2004|
|Location||Alburquerque, New Mexico|
TarValon.Net's 4th Fall Ball (held in Albuquerque, New Mexico) successfully kicked of a new era in Tower events! While the Fall Party has been refered to as a "Ball" for several years, the name was given more in anticipation than in actual practice. 2004 saw this change with the communities first-ever formal event.
Check in began on Saturday, and most spent the afternoon and early evening meeting up with one another for dinner or at the hotel bar. At 8:30, opening ceremonies commenced with the traditional Goldshlager Toast, four raisings, and three first-sibling ceremonies. Eleyan al'Landerin, along with the help of Senior Members, finalized a series of ceremonies (closely based on the text found in "Wheel of Time") that will be used for all real-life raisings from here on out. The evening ended with our "Slave Auction" (where members volunteer themselves to servitude for a day to help raise money), bringing TarValon.Net a few hundred dollars in total.
Sunday morning brought the first qualifying round for Sa'sara dancers, and judges were impressed by the quality of all candidates. Lunch was served while volunteers taught basic ballroom dancing. Everyone enjoyed a three-hour life-sized modified version of "Trivial Pursuit". This game used live pawns, and included physical challenges, charades, and more than a little bit of chance while teams attempted to collect 7 seals before making their way to the Amyrlin Seat. The Blue Ajah won after a difficult and prolonged battle with the Browns.
The Ball itself began with a procession and dinner, then progressed to ballroom and swing dancing. However, it wasn't long before the Aes Sedai were dancing the electric slide and doing the Time Warp. Decorations were lovely, the prize drawings were numerous, and the company unsurpassed.
TarValon.Net's next main event is "Tower Party Australia" to be held in the next few months. The next party in North America will be our 4th Anniversary Party in Denver, Colorado.
TarValon Times Review
Partygoers started arriving as early as Thursday in Albuquerque even though the official events didn't start until Saturday night. People flying in on Saturday arrived as early as 10:30 AM. Fortunately, a shuttle ran between the airport and the hotel. TarValon.net was constantly represented at Village Inn across from the hotel. As one group was finishing up, another group would arrive. Saturday afternoon was mostly spent either catching up on sleep missed by catching flights or hanging out in the hotel lobby. After splitting up for dinner, we all met in a conference room for the official welcome.
After Mother gave her welcome speech, the traditional Goldschlagger toast went around the table. After the toast were the raisings. Many were raised at the Fall Ball: Kyla Sedai of the Blue Ajah, Cataia Sedai of the Green Ajah, Triste Accepted of the White Tower, and Tian Accepted of the White Tower. We were witness to three first-sibling ceremonies, which bonded Ninya and Vallah as first-sisters, Faeril and Lyoness as first-sisters, and Jakeb and Jasin as first-brothers.
The slave auction concluded the evening. After the auction, the group split up. Some went out on the town, others gossiped in the hotel lounge, and still others gossiped in hotel rooms.
Sunday morning brought the beginning of the official programming. The sa'sara preliminary competition took place. When it was done, the room was openned for a snack and dance lessons. Katarianna and Cathel taught the waltz and swing dancing. After the dance lessons, the White Tower Pursuit game was played. The Blue team, made up of Arisaema, Kyla, Yelenia, and Ninya, won after a three hour competition.
Sunday evening brought the official ball. The head table was announced and entered as a procession. After a toast by Mother, we proceeded to eat. The menu included prime rib, pasta primavera, and chicken marsala as entrees and chocolate mousse as dessert.
After dinner, the dancing began with waltzing and swing dancing. Interspersed in the dancing were raffle drawings for such items as TarValon.net pins, a mousepad, a calendar, and jewelry donated by Jenarra. The two annual awards, the Contributor of the Year and the Philanthropist of the Year, were awarded to Randle al'Ren and Arisaema Draconis, respectively.
A new format for the sa'sara was introduced at the Fall Ball. Participants performed for a select group of judges who chose three finalists. The finalists performed at the ball and were voted on by everyone. Finalists at the ball were Cataia, Katarianna, and Marlinya. Cataia won the vote. Also, everyone voted on the best costume; this title went to Sharradin.
Monday morning brought tearful goodbyes and the onset of post party depression. At the airport, a large group gathered in the observation deck to await flights. In groups or one-by-one, we dispersed to separate airplanes with many hugs and well wishes of friends old and new. Tower events are always times of reunion though there has been only physical separation. The Tower is very real; it exists through the online work of many people. Real-life events make the Tower physically real, and the Fall Ball was no exception. First-timers felt welcome, and for those who have been to a party before, it was a true reunion. For many who can only go to one party a year, the ball is special and is a time to see old friends, many for the first time.
- Main article: Fall Ball 2004 Attendance List
Fall Ball 2004 Picture Gallery
This article is a stub. A longer, more in depth article will be added at a later time.