2011 Midwest Witches Ball and Bazaar
Article ID: 14799
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 576
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Author: Paula & Gordon Ireland [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 23rd. 2011
Times Viewed: 1,837
Sponsored by: Midwest Witches Ball Committee
Location: Troy Mi
Event Date(s): 10/15/11
Reflections on the 2011 Witches Bazaar and Witches Ball
by R. Wolf Baldassarro
The whirlwind weekend is over and life has returned to the normal daily grind, but Iím still smiling ear-to-ear from the memories of the 2011 Midwest Witches Ball.
For those of you who may have been sleeping under a rock for the past couple of months or so, I was a professional sponsor again for this annual event that brings together the Pagan community to network, share, learn from each other, and grow.
We also love to just let loose and have fun; an open bar sure helps provide the social lubrication for that. Never let it be said that we donít know how to throw a damn good party. The hotel after-parties are also known to get a bitÖ interesting. I donít think anyone will ever forget my first Ball experience, as it will go down in infamy. The exact details of which I am still hazy on, and there are those who are still haunted by images of the nightís events. If any of you are fans of the show How I Met Your Mother, youíll understand when I say that sometimes real life has its ďPineapple Incidents.Ē
But, I digressÖ
This year marked the 15th year for the event and the 7th one that Iíve attended; Iíve never been disappointed or let down. A buffet dinner, open bar, and dancing the night away with friends- all for $35 a ticket just canít be beat. One of my favorite activities is the spiral dance- 7 minutes of pure joy and energy!
But this year had some interesting changes. Not only was it at a larger hall with the hotel attached, but included a free family event called the Witches Bazaar. There were dozens of vendors selling everything from handcrafted art to palm readings, and relaxation tables. Candles and incense filled the air with their intoxicating scents and the bustle of feet and conversation added sound to the chorus of excitement.
My best friend in the entire world, Racheal, helped with my booth and I could not have done this without her. Sheís simply amazing and the kindest person the world will ever know. I canít possibly ever thank her enough. I am truly blessed with the worldís best souls to count as my friends. :)
I couldnít have asked for a better spot, either- right across from another one of my dearest friends, Ambrosia. Owner of Magickal Crafts, she was there selling her amazing photography, handcrafted jewelry, and stunning artwork. She also happens to be Lead Investigator for my group, the Deep Forest Paranormal Society. Sheís one very talented lady.
We arrived fashionably late, as the bazaar was already in full swing. I greeted and chatted with attendees and other vendors in between hurriedly setting up my booth. What was amazing was that I was already making connections and sales before I had a chance to sit back and take in everything happening around me. It was great! I was meeting fans and learning about how theyíve come to be familiar with my work. I felt my pride and honor swell up as they complimented me, not just on my writing, but on who I was as a person.
Sonja was nice enough to take this as I talked to a fan about my books
Thatís what I love most of all. Thatís what I get out of all of this. Itís not just about slapping some words on a page and presenting it to the reading world, itís about connecting with people on a very real and very personal level. One couple was not aware that I was going to be there and the husband was telling me how he has one of my books and would have loved to get it signed.
The event also has several workshops and classes scheduled. Ambrosia and I did an introduction to ghost hunting in the main ballroom. It was a larger crowd than we expected and I am so grateful to all those who attended and participated. Your comments and discussion during the Q and A were a highlight of my day. Iím hoping someone out there has pictures of the workshop. If you do, please contact me.
I had amazing success, both professionally and personally, at the event and came a few items away from completely selling out! Hey, makes packing up all the easier, right? The vendor next to me was a local store called Mystic Moon, located in Madison Heights, Michigan. They approached me about buying copies of my books for sale at their store. Cool!
About 15 minutes before the end of the event I sold some signed copies to them for their shop and no sooner did I walk back that someone approached my booth looking for one of the books. I laughed as I had to direct him to the table next to me. Now thatís what I call a fast turn around! They made a sale, I made a sale, and a fan has a book to enjoy time and again. Everyone wins. That, my friends, is just awesome.
Chest puffed out in success, I took my two best friends in this, or any life, Racheal and Danielle, out for a late lunch before heading back to the hotel to get all dressed up for the Ball. A nice little Middle Eastern place called Cedar Grill.
The Ball was so much fun and many of us agree that it was the best one yet. We also canít wait for next year and are already making plans!
There was a snafu this year and we didnít have a full course meal, but a small selection of finger food instead. It was fine. Still well worth the price to attend and a great time. I go for the people, not for the food. Since we had well over 500 attendees the lobby was converted into bar and food stations. My god, the station for the mixed drinks was lined up all night long. Next year I suggest a soft drinks/water only station and a carefully planned set up of where each station is.
Each year has a theme and this time around was Through the Looking Glass.
This has got to be the most successful, fun, enjoyable, and memorable event Iíve had yet in my still-growing literary career. I will always be grateful for each item sold, even if I sit for hours and only meet one person. After all, I know that itís the fans that make you or break you.
I want to personally and sincerely thank every single one of you. Whether you were there in spirit, just stopped by, or purchased a book to help support the creative arts. I want to thank all of those who attended the ghost-hunting lecture as well.
Professional success aside, itís all about friendship and the energy that we share with each other as we walk our separate paths. Thatís the very core of the Witches Ball. It doesnít matter where itís held, how much it costs, or what it includes. Itís about the people. The community.
On to next year!
Copyright: R. Wolf Baldassarro
Paula & Gordon Ireland
Location: Utica, Michigan
Author's Profile: To learn more about Paula & Gordon Ireland - Click HERE
Bio: R. Wolf Baldassarro is an American poet and columnist. When not busy pursuing the mysteries of the universe as a paranormal investigator he writes novels and maintains an active blog. Wolf has been a guest on radio, TV, and internet broadcasts, and contributed to various third-party projects. His material has been featured in publications such as the Mused Literary Review, Pagan Pages magazine, and the World Education Network; he has published five books and a professional photograph gallery. For more on his work and contact information visit his official website www.deepforestproductions.com
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