Winter Ball brings out the best in men

Founders of the Larnach Castle Winter Ball John Steel (left) and Wayne Everson get ready for the event. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Founders of the Larnach Castle Winter Ball John Steel (left) and Wayne Everson get ready for the event. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

It is an event that has been credited with a feat not far removed from moving a mountain.

That feat - to get recalcitrant Dunedin men to dance with their wives - is the boast of the annual Winter Ball at Larnach Castle.

The event is headed for its 30th anniversary tonight, and two of its founders say there is a simple recipe to its success.

''It's fun,'' master of ceremonies John Steel said.

''That's pretty much the long and short of it,'' co-founder Wayne Everson added.

The event involves another ingredient - dressing up in Victorian period evening attire - that brings out the best in local men.

''The women go all out dressing up,'' Mr Steel said.

''There was someone who said it was the first time she had danced with her husband.''

The event began in 1984, a joint effort by the Pioneer Pog 'n' Scroggin Bush Band and the Dunedin Militia.

Mr Everson described the event as ''much dancing and feasting''.

And after 30 years, the ball was not about to end.

''It doesn't show any sense of letting up,'' Mr Steel said.

''There's no reason it can't go on.''

Three decades has had different effects upon the two.

''I feel older,'' Mr Everson said.

''I don't,'' said Mr Steel.

- david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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