Masquerade Ball tradition continues

An archway of balloons shining in green, purple and gold greeted guests as they entered a ballroom. A dance floor circled with banquet and cocktail-style tables set the mood for an elegant evening to begin the spirited homecoming week at USF-last year that is.USF’s second annual Homecoming Masquerade Ball will begin on Tuesday Oct. 30 from 8 p.m. until 12 a.m. on the Embassy Suites at USF’s Tampa campus. The Ball will have a Mardi Gras theme.The Ball is a tradition that began last year as an addition to Homecoming week at USF, said Kim Baker, chairwoman of the masquerade ball.Baker said the Homecoming committee wants to continue the Masquerade Ball as a tradition because it brings back high school memories.”When students walk in the door the elegance will remind them of the way things were in high school and get them motivated for the week,” she saidBaker also said this event will give students a chance to experience the other side of Homecoming and prepare for upcoming events throughout the week.Students have the choice to attend the Masquerade Ball in semi-formal or costume attire, Baker said.”Last year, students came as knights, musketeers and princesses,” Baker said. “People plan to come in more elegant costumes rather than scary. It gives the nature of a ball.”

The Embassy Suites also provides a natural place to host elegant events such as the masquerade ball and keep the USF spirit alive at the same time, Baker said.

Baker said the turnout of students expected to attend the Homecoming Ball this year will be about 650, and students will be provided food and music. The Marshall Center Information desk had a limit of 600 tickets to sell for $3 each.

The food provided at the event will be turkey, ham and beef, including a pasta bar and a fruit bar, Rosa Hanco, events manager at the Marshall Center, said. A disc jockey will be present at the ball, playing the top 40 pop music hits to the evening, Hanco said.

“It’s an opportunity for students to eat, dance and have fun with their friends,” she said. “Many students also attend because that is when Homecoming Court is announced.”

Hanco said the Court will consist of ten students, five men and five women, selected from the student body.

Students who applied for the Homecoming Court were required to have 90 credits by December 2001 and have made a contribution to the university.

“The main emphasis is that it’s not a beauty contest,” Hanco said. “It’s based on USF spirit and what they have contributed to their university.”