Young girls get a night of magic at Carmel’s Princess Ball

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Young girls will have the chance to dress up and ride in a horse-drawn carriage at the Monon Center’s Princess Ball. (submitted photo by Dwayne Jones Dockery)

Young girls will have the chance to dress up and ride in a horse-drawn carriage at the Monon Center’s Princess Ball. (submitted photo by Dwayne Jones Dockery)

By Chris Bavender

It’s a magical evening – from the horse-drawn carriage to the elegant decorations – a time for daughters to take to the dance floor with their fathers for the second annual Princess Ball.

“Prior to my joining Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation they had a daddy-daughter dance around this time of year for many years,” said Traci Broman, events supervisor with the parks department. “The Princess Ball adds a level of elegance that the typical daddy-daughter dance didn’t have – including a punch fountain and hot hors d’oeuvres.”

Even though it’s a relatively new event, the ball is already quite popular – drawing a large number of attendees last year and 300 expected to attend this year’s dance on Feb. 8.

“In order to allow everyone a ride on the carriage and enough space to move around and enjoy the event, we do cap the event at 300,” Broman said.

Girls must be at least four years old to attend, but Broman said the majority are between four and nine years old.

“The majority is dads and daughters,” Broman said. “But we do get a handful of uncles and grandfathers.”

It’s a night to remember for the little girls.

“Besides a fun evening and wonderful memories for dads and daughters, I think it is important for girls to know how they should be treated on a date and get to experience their first date with their dad,” Broman said. “What better way for a dad to show his daughter the respect she deserves from men than taking her on her first date.”

In addition to the carriage and refreshments, there will be crafts, activities, games, a free raffle and photos provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance.

“Every room is themed to a different princess (or two), such as Ariel’s and  Jasmine’s Arts and Crafts, Sleeping Beauty Photos, Princess Puzzles and Games, Belle’s Bright House Ballroom, Winter Wonderland Hallway, Cinderella’s Carriage and more,” Broman said.

The night isn’t possible, however, Broman said, without volunteers.

“They spend over three hours on Saturday helping me put up all of the decorations and many of them then change in to dresses and outfits before the event and act out princess and prince characters throughout the night while they are helping with the event,” she said.

The ball is will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Monon Community Center East Building.

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