After four years, Vampire Ball fades into the shadows

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The annual Lincoln Vampire Ball held on Saturday night in the Lancaster Ballroom of the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel will be the last. 

This is the fourth year of the event, which attracted many vampires, steampunk enthusiasts with their creative costumes donning classic bronze accents, and elaborate dresses with obvious Victorian-Era inspiration. Organized by Rebeca Rose and other volunteers as an alternative to the Zombie Fest which ended in 2015 after a ten-year run. 

Now it’s the Vampire Ball that’s ending. 

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Savanna Nightshade dances during the Vampire Ball at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln, Nebraska on Feb. 15, 2020. “I’ve always had an obsession with vampires since I was very young.” Nightshade said. “I love seeing everyone dressed up”
– Photo by Seth A. Marshall

Despite the good turnout, Rose remained optimistic about the future though, saying events similar to this might have a home at Eagle Hollow Haunts, which she co-owns. 

“With the haunted house, we’re growing that and focused on making that bigger and better,” Rose said. “And we think in the upcoming years we might start to do events under their banner.”

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Vampire Ball party goers talk and chat with each other during the Vampire Ball in Lincoln, Nebraska at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel on Feb. 15, 2020 – Photo by Seth A. Marshall

Saturday’s event featured local vendors selling items and apparel matching the mostly Victorian-influenced theme. One vendor, Julia Keppenman, had a booth showing off many of the paintings she’s created at her studio in the Burkholder Project, a local art collaboration on the corner of 7th and P street. 

Kappenman said there’s several events like the Vampire Ball around Lincoln and Omaha. 

“I’ll be at ConStellation Sci-Fi convention and I plan to be at O Con in Omaha, I go to the Mystic Fest in Omaha,” she said. 

Liz Bird, also a local artist, showcased an assortment of ornamental pieces such as earrings and necklaces, including lace tatting Bird incorporates into the pieces. 

When asked how long it takes her to make a single piece, Bird said “a small pair of earrings takes 15 minutes per earring,” but later added she has worked on pieces that have taken her over 40 hours.

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Friends join together for the last Vampire Ball at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Feb. 15, 2020. – Photo by Seth A. Marshall

Video by Hannah Schmidt