North Haugh Ball: a wonderland of whimsy

Sarah John reviews the fourth annual North Haugh Ball.

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North Haugh was a wonderland of whimsy and charm as residents and non-residents alike of ABH and Andrew Melville Hall celebrated the end of the year with the carnival-themed shenanigans of the 4th Annual North Haugh Ball.

The venue was turned into a fun-filled fairground complete with a coconut shy stand and a merry-go-round to add to the colourful aesthetic. Underneath the wide, spacious marquee, guests were able to sit for their very own caricature portrait, as well as watch jugglers and magicians perform their art – an original feature, fitting with the theme, that meant the ball was able to boast its creativity.

As far as food went, Jannetta’s catered with fan-favourite flavours, and candy floss was available first-come, first-serve. The town’s go-to burger-flipping joint, Blackhorn, was also in attendance, making sure our bellies were full with something warm, savoury, and non-alcoholic.

The dance area was roomy and open, which meant fewer instances of stiletto-punctured hems and bruised, trampled-on toes. The airiness of the marquee allowed breathing room and kept the temperature even and comfortable. While the event was lively and exuberant, it lacked the craziness and unpleasantness of an over-packed venue. The bar was also a relatively painless, hassle-free ordeal, and it was easy enough to get a drink without waiting ages or elbowing your way past swarms of drunken party-goers (although water was quite difficult to get your hands on).

Those who arrived at 8:30 experienced the sweatiness and boisterousness of a ceilidh, which went on for about an hour. Much more high-spirited than a stuffy champagne reception, the ceilidh was one of the highlights of the night as already-intoxicated guests struggled amidst laughter to follow the steps of the traditional Scottish dance. Afterwards, the Union’s own Henry Hargreaves and DJ Adam Powrie supplied us with the all-too-familiar tunes to groove to.

Perhaps one of the best parts of the ball was that the venue was not at any hotel that required guests to vacate by midnight. Instead, since the event was held on the familiar lawn situated between Andrew Melville and Agnes Blackadder, shenanigans went on until 2 am. 

It was a night well-spent with plenty of great music, food, drink, and attractions. The interactive nature of the ball meant that there were few to no early departures – guests were sorry to be vacating the lawn when the night came to an end. All in all, the North Haugh Ball was a success – one that rivalled DRA Ball despite the latter’s enormity, and one that will ensure that residents hold only good memories of their year spent in either Agnes Blackadder or Andrew Melville.

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