A Night of Ballgowns and Spending Money 

My experience at the Bridgerton Ball 

Claire Arneson, Section Editor

Like many, I was looking forward to going home for Thanksgiving. Not only was I excited about the food, the opportunity to see my family, and of course, my dog, but I had a special event to attend. It required me to dress up in my best formal wear, don a tiara, and live out my princess fantasy. That is right, I went to prom. Well not really, but kind of. The Queens Ball: A Bridgerton Experience, is a traveling immersive hour-and-a-half adventure. Tickets went on sale for the Minneapolis excursion in September, for arrival times of guests in November. When I got the email that tickets went on sale, I rushed to the website and got my ticket. I bought a $50 amazon ball gown, a tiara, and prepared to be the queen’s diamond.   

The evening began at the Lighthouse Artspace Minneapolis where we strolled in, wearing dresses that dragged on the ground. We quickly scanned our tickets and hopped in line to get some refreshments. They had a variety of Bridgerton-themed cocktails, mocktails, and ordinary pop and water. My friend and I sprung for Penelope’s Lemonade, which was a combination of lemonade and mint leaves. It was delicious, but for $10 it better be. We then headed over to the boutique. There they had fans, tiaras, hair bows, top hats, lace gloves, and much more. We could not leave without getting a feathered fan to complete our ensemble. While we waited for the doors to open, we took some photos and talked with some fun people. The Bridgerton community is exactly that: a community where everyone was willing to complement each other’s looks and become a professional photographer when needed.   

Finally, the doors opened, and we walked into an atrium of vines and roses. Many stopped in the walkway to take pictures, but we bolted into the ballroom. We were greeted by a queen’s helper with a copy of the latest Lady Whistledown and were blown away by the scene that beheld us. The room had a purple hue, a section for the VIP participants, more drinks, and a gorgeous trio playing orchestral renditions of popular music. As the music played, we took our places along the sidelines. Actors from the show went around asking participants to dance and showed them a couple of moves. They then turned it into a group activity and gave a group lesson on dancing. After several dances, it was time for the main event of the evening: the queen’s arrival.   

Queen Charolette was a beauty to behold that night. She walked around the checkered floor of the ballroom and took a quick glance at her guests to gain a first impression. She then took her place on her throne and waited for us to present ourselves to her. We lined up and prepared ourselves for our introductions to society. Many opted to curtsey or bow, but some brave souls showed off their best dance moves. I did a simple curtsey, and the Whistledown knockoff that was narrating the event said my fan work was remarkable. Once everyone finished up, the queen took her leave.   

We were then joined by the main performers of the evening. The performers resembled Daphne and Simon, the two main protagonists of the first season of the show. They did contemporary dance routines, as well as some acrobatic ones. This involved them using aerial silks to dangle from the ceiling, and they also swung from the main chandelier. Unfortunately, they did not play Chandelier by Sia during this time, which was a missed opportunity. We had many surprises during this time. The actors and actresses from the beginning of the immersion joined the performers in a line dance with some members of the audience, and the famous Bee of Bridgerton put on a dance. The performance concluded with the violinist of the quartet joining Simon and Daphne as they ended with a final dance involving some clothes coming off. If you have seen the show, you understand why this happened.   

All of a sudden, the queen came back out and it was time for her to announce the diamond of the season. The phrase “diamond of the season” is from the show, and refers to the young lady who catches the eye of the queen, and then in turn is pined after by the eligible gentleman of the season. As the actors went around the stage gesturing towards different individuals. I made my way to the front, prepared to be picked, and when the actor started walking towards me, I could feel the tears welling in my eyes. Then he went right passed me and picked another lovely member of the crowd. She was beautiful and definitely deserved to be the diamond. She was showered with confetti and gave the crowd a twirl. It was then time for the performers to leave, we bid farewell, and continued with the rest of the evening.   

Shortly after they left, the regency pop music was replaced with some early 2000’s hits. There is nothing like a group coming together to violently shout “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. After dancing in high heels for 10 minutes, we decided to make our way to the exhibit portion of the evening. Keep in mind, everything was still set up as if we were in the queens palace. The floral details that coated the room, making each segment flow into another. After we looked at all of the decorations, we were able to look at costumes that were from the show, such as dresses worn by Penelope, Marina, and of course, Daphne. People were able to get digital portraits taken of them, as well as take photos on the queen’s throne.   

At this point, my friend and I were starving, so we made our way over to a little stand and bought some Macaroons. This was the only food at the event, and after watching people dance and us dancing ourselves, we were famished. After scarfing them down, we made our way to the last section of the ball, which was merchandise. This modiste was bigger than the little stand that greeted us at the beginning of our excursion. Here they had sweatshirts, tea inspired by the show, candles, and way more. They even had a whole make up section. I resisted the urge to spend any more money that evening. Even though the ticket was relatively cheap, everything else there costed a pretty penny.   

At 8:30 PM we got ready to leave. Although one hour and thirty minutes seemed like a short amount of time for an experience like that, I thought it was perfect. My social battery was still half full at the end of the night, and I was ready to get the corset on me loosened and off. Overall, the experience was one I will never forget. I missed my senior prom due to Covid-19, so this was like the prom I never got to have. I think the big positives of the event were the performances and the merchandise you could buy. The part I did not enjoy as much was the fact that there was not much food. There is also only standing room for those that bought general admission tickets, so you are on your feet a lot. I still think the positives outweigh these miniscule negatives. Maybe one day the queen will visit us in Grand Forks, but in the mean time you can visit them in Minneapolis, Denver, and Toronto.   

To conclude, if you are a fan of the show or you have read the books, the Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience is for everyone whether you have never seen the show before or are a diehard fan. The event is for 16+ and, there were regency enthusiasts of all ages in attendance. The atmosphere was astonishingly created by the performers, but at the end of the day, it is the people that attend that make or break an experience like this. The Queens Ball was one for the books. The most dazzling experience of the season. Even though some parts of the diamond are rough, it is still a diamond.   

 

Claire Arneson is a Dakota Student Editor. She can be reached at [email protected]