I have a thing for the underdog. I am not 100% sure where this comes from, although I suspect being a lifelong Cleveland sports fan probably helps. I don’t mean “underdog” just in terms of competitive situations though. I consider Mary Todd Lincoln a historical underdog because no one gives her a break given everything she experienced. They just call her Lincon’s crazy wife and then move on to study someone else. Marie Antoinette is another of my favorite underdogs. Now, you might have two different reactions to that statement. One may be, “Underdog? Ms. ‘Let them eat cake?!?’” The other reaction may be, “Oh yeah, the poor girl lost her head. I mean, literally.”
The fact of the matter is that the story of Marie Antoinette is filled with hidden nooks and crannies. Despite all of the riches she was surrounded by in Versailles, and despite her out of touch penchant for pretending to be a normal lady living in a small farm cottage, she actually was never really given a fair shake in France, even before the Revolution began. She was a foreigner who suddenly became the princess. People found her weird, she always seemed to be off a beat, and she became a really convenient scapegoat as French society began to fall apart.
The fact that there is much that seems still hidden about Marie Antoinette’s life fits perfectly into a festival that will be happening in Marietta from November 3- November 5. Marie Antoinette will be celebrated as a way to raise funds for a new museum called La Musée Rose, which is dedicated to uncovering the hidden history of the women of the Mid-Ohio Valley. It all weaves together quite perfectly, almost as if the women behind the event had put a lot of thought into this. Well, in fact, they have.
Ordinarily, this year would simply be the fourth annual Marie Antoinette Masquerade Ball. The party has been a one night stand in the past, but it has made quite an impact here. Seeing people wearing 18th century, 10-foot tall white wigs will do that! This year, however, the “party” is being stretched into a three-day weekend extravaganza. There is almost too much to talk about. It begins on November’s First Friday, where downtown shops will bedeck themselves in French glam, and, yes, they will be allowed to have cake. Simultaneously, the Betsey Mills Club will be hosting a family-friendly masquerade ball complete with historical characters. Tickets are $5 at the door. You can text FamilyBall to 41444 to get your advance ticket.
Feeling tired? Well, you’d better rest up, because Saturday is the actual ball itself. Hosted again at the Betsey Mills Club, tickets to this amazing party start at $40. A $50 donation gets you extra perks. If you have a super fun workplace, get tickets for all of your employees and get named as a corporate sponsor.
The organizers are also looking for prizes that they can include in a silent auction that will be running during the ball. You need to get those submitted by November 1st. Contact the ladies at lamuseerose.org to offer your helping hands.
FINALLY (phew), Sunday will complete the weekend with a Bloody Marie-Etta Brunch at the Lafayette that you then can walk off with a Marietta Mansions Walking Tour with Hidden Marietta. Those tickets cost $15.
Is all of this as overwhelming as the extravagance of Versailles? Why, yes! There is hope for you, however. Be sure to go in and “like” the festival event on Facebook. There you can ask all of the questions your heart desires. Alternatively, you can (and should) “like” La Musée Rose on Facebook and you can ask tons of questions there. OR, you can hunt down the brains behind this amazing event – Jocelyn Adelsperger and Franci Bolden of The Betsey Mills Club, Cristie Thomas of Marietta Main Street, and, of course, the La Musée Rose founders, Cat Bigley, Jenny Powers, and Jessica Wielitzka. Maybe you should take all of those steps just to be on the safe side.
There are many ways to participate and many ways to donate. Whatever you do, don’t miss out.