The 2015 Midsummer Masquerade Report

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Saturday, July 18th, 2015 saw the sixth year of the Cincinnati Midsummer Masquerade and its first year of settling into its new home at the Moonlite Gardens . . . it was a fantastic night!

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Fu, Jasmine, and Fairy Queen Barb – Photo by Judy Adams

Leading up to the weekend there had been threats and forecasts of a severe thunder and lightning storm for the night of the Masquerade, and unfortunately that news kept many from attending this year. We were fortunate that the bad weather did not occur until after the night was over, but even if rain had come during the event, the Moonlite Gardens has plenty of covered space that can hold hundreds of people. The venue is much bigger and there is plenty of room for the show to grow in the years to come.

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The gates opened at 8PM to let in a long line of ladies, gentlemen, fairies, fawns, trolls, elves, and such, many sporting a Steampunk twist to their fantasy outfits. Despite starting as a Steampunk masquerade, this event has become less and less clothed as the years have gone by . . . July in Ohio is hot! The costuming has evolved into a more etherial event with has added to the fun and beauty of this special night.

DJ Nymphoma provided an appropriate fantasy soundtrack of magical songs as the first of the revelers entered the Moonlite Gardens. The upper level of the Moonlite Gardens was home to the Magical Market of vendors who brought plenty for people to see and buy. At 8:30PM the entertainment line up began with three belly dances from Zahara’s Tangled Web. Immediately after, the Pickled Brothers Circus performed over at the second stage that stood before the beautiful backdrop of the lake.

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Travis Feirtag, King of the Fairies – Photo by Julie Ewing

Back at the main stage, just as the sun was setting, the men’s costume contest was held to determine the best dressed chap who would become the King of the Fairies for the 2016 Midsummer Masquerade. There were some great entries, but the prize clearly went to Travis Feirtag for his amazing Steampunk Fairy Warrior outfit. Feirtag had actually driven all the way from Madison, Wisconsin specially to attend the Masquerade and we are thrilled that he did!

After the contest it was back to the Lake Side Stage for a performance from SpaceFairy and her spinning hula hoop of LED lights and FIRE! Her dances managed to mesmerize the crowd as her flames lit up the night. The women’s costume contest to find the next Queen of the Fairies took place immediately after SpaceFairy, and the line of contestants was huge . . . possibly half the women at the event! The process of finding the best dressed woman was long, but ultimately through a combination of crowd applause voting and the opinion of this year’s King and Queen, the winner was Mandisa Njeri in her Fawnzie gang outfit (part of a group costume as well).

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Two of the “Fawnzies,” Megan Carriger and Mandisa Mjeri – Photo by Governess Sebastian.

The contest was followed by more performances from Zahara’s Tangled Web, the Pickled Brother’s Circus, and SpaceFairy, and then it was time for the main act of the evening, Curse of Cassandra. The band’s electronic, etherial, goth and etherial songs rocked the masqueraders with their trance like performance. A hundred plus masked and costumed dancers moved and swayed on the spacious dance floor and continued to midnight when DJ Nymphoma took over after the band. It had been a hot evening, but around 11:30PM a gentle rain began to fall and the dancing crowd welcomed the cooling rain with open arms . . . it was a magical way to end the dance, and at midnight a beautiful lightning storm lit up the night as the grand finale!

The night was a success, and next year’s Masquerade has already been scheduled for July 16th, 2016 which promises to be an even more magical event than any Midsummer Masquerade you’ve ever seen before!

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