Masquerade themed Winter Ball comes to Ferris

Pride Big Rapids collaborates with the LGBTQ+ Resource Center

Pride Big Rapids and the LGBTQ+ Resource Center invite the Ferris community to a night of dinner, dancing and masquerade madness.

Tickets are now on sale for the Winter Ball, held Friday, Feb. 10, from 5-9 p.m. in the David L. Eisler Center Ballrooms. For $30, guests will be provided with four hours of dinner, snacks and music. For $15, guests are welcome to arrive at 7 p.m. to eat chips and desserts and dance the rest of the night away. Ferris students may also get a 10% discount via the Eventbrite website.

LGBTQ+ Resource Center Director Becca Osborne is still new to the Ferris and Big Rapids community. Osborne has high hopes for the event and what it will offer students.

“I hope that the Winter Ball brings Ferris students and the Big Rapids community closer together,” Osborne said. “I also hope it gives people a more gender-affirming formal experience, since a lot of the LGBTQ+ community didn’t have a very good prom [or] school dance experience.”

Osborne is still new to their role as director. While collaborating for the Winter Ball, Osborne called PBR a “great ally” and looks forward to working with them again in the future.

PBR Vice President Remington Hernandez sees the Winter Ball as something to kickoff the fundraising season. Ticket sales will go towards this June’s PBR festival. Last year’s festival, the first for Big Rapids, exceeded Hernandez’s expectations with over two thousand attendees. While PBR is still in its infancy, Hernandez called planning the Winter Ball a “wonderful challenge.”

“It’s something new to us, but everyone we worked with was so wonderful, and we were just glad that we were able to get to where we needed to,” Hernandez said.

Television and digital media production junior Derk Portenga said the PBR organizers have been “nothing but amazing to this community and very nice.” As a student worker and volunteer for the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, Portenga appreciates the passion that the organizers show while planning events.

“[The Winter Ball] could be a very easy, LGBTQ+, friendly event where you don’t have to worry about sticking to the gender norms when it comes to dress codes,” Portenga said.

Guests at the Winter Ball will be served a full dinner with buttered egg noodles, California blend vegetables and homemade rolls. Protein options include mushroom beef tips, honey glazed chicken breast and citrus pepper salmon. There is also a vegan-friendly option available on request. The ball’s snack menu features pita chips and vegetables with onion dip, assorted cookies and a rainbow yellow cake.

Attendees are welcomed but not required to dress for the masquerade-themed occasion.

Visit Eventbrite to pre-order tickets and find more information on Friday night’s ball.