Crystal Ball

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Crystal Ball is an annual event held by the Barony of Shattered Crystal normally on the second full weekend of November and located near the mundane city of St. Louis, Mo., but within the Metro-East area. The main day is Saturday and it is usually comprised of six sets of dances, ten - twelve dances per set, followed by the infamous "request set" which is where those playing musicians and others can re-request dances they missed during a previous set, or request dances that were not listed in the formal sets of the ball that year. The dance aficionados have been known to keep the request set going all night, the record for which is one year having ended at 8:30 in the morning. During the last decade or more the first three sets of the ball have been performed live by musicians, the other three and the request set by "fey musicians in a box".

The Ball itself doesn't start until after feast is done (and sometimes court, if necessary) starting usually around 9 p.m. give or take an hour. Before that, during the day, there are: four classrooms worth of dance classes, usually covering almost everything that will be danced that evening in the ball; rapier and heavy armor tourneys; sometimes an A&S challenge, occasionally court - Baronial or Royal depending upon whom is attending, and a feast around 5 or 6 p.m. In between sets two and three is the Dessert Revel, where Baronial members have piled on many a homemade, store bought, or period style sweet treats and the legendary "HEAD OF CABBAGE Cabbage cabbage abbage bage ge ge...." for those to nosh upon and regain their strength for dancing. Occasionally after the Dessert Revel, a bardic circle may start in another room for those gentles who become a bit winded after the second set of the ball.

Depending upon site location found, there can be on site crash space, sometimes even pavilion camping or RV parking (always check the current website or event steward for details.), and given the wide range of activities throughout the day, the site usually opens around 5 p.m. on Friday evening and closes at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, with all folks off site by noon. As such, the Barony from time to time has provided for donation or fee Soup-Stew style dinners on Friday night and something for breakfast on Saturday/Sunday morning (again check current website or with the Event Steward). Also with the arrival of so many guests frequently on Friday evening, we have begun to hold a coroso style mini-ball on Friday night for those to show off or share new dance finds or new twists to old favorites.

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