Ilion High School Traditions

Christmas Ball

Christmas Ball Themes

Queen Cynthia Cramer, attended by Joanne Urtz, Sue Getman, Diana Withington, and Judy Gray, was chosen to reign over "Frosted Fantasy". The ball was headed by Jane Lacy and George Rolling and created by Karen Custer and Pat Runge.

Tis the season to not only deck the halls, but to deck oneself for the annual Christmas Ball. The first mention of this gala appeared in the 1933 Mirror. The responsibility for organizing this grand winter dance has alternated between the Junior and Senior Classes.

Originally, the balls were held at school. The host class had the duty of choosing a theme, decorating the gym and selecting Servers, from members of the Freshman Class.

The Class of 1939's "Holiday Dance" was open to the public. In the 1942 Mirror, appeared the first mention of selecting a "Snow Queen", as part of the festivities. A flu epidemic postponed the Class of 1946's ball, which was replaced with a Valentine's Ball. It appears that in the 1962-63 school year, the responsibility for planning the ball passed from the Junior Class to the Senior Class.

The youthful rebellion of the 1960's was evident when the Class of 1966 voted down having a Senior Ball, in favor of hosting an informal dance. (This was the same class which replaced the appearance of Minerva on class rings, with the newly adopted school seal.) However, the break with tradition was short-lived; the Class of 1967 brought back the Christmas Ball in all its glimmering glory as "Moonlite and Misteltoe.

The women's movement might have influenced the fate of the ball, because the Class of 1969 also voted down the Senior Ball and replaced it with a Sadie Hawkins dance.

The Class of 1970 brought back the ball, however it was scaled down to a semi-formal dance that was held in the cafeteria. For the next three years, the ball was a non-event.

Finally, the Class of 1974 revived the tradition, but with a slight twist. The Class of 1974's Senior Ball was held at Harts Hill Inn instead of at the school. This established a new trend, after that balls were held offsite, at such places as Beardslee's Manner, Grimaldi's and the Whiffletree. Until the last few years, the Christmas Ball lived on and the Snow Queens still reigned for IHS.

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Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

Digital Image Copyright & Copyright © 1997 - 2014
First Published January 15, 1999
Modified September 18, 2014