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Vienna UWEC Ball returns in person after 2 years

CLEAR WATER, Wis. (WEAU) — After two years, UW-Eau Claire can finally bring back an annual celebration of Viennese culture.

The Davies Student Center was packed with hundreds of people eating, dancing and enjoying musical performances over the weekend. It was an experience that COVID-19 had taken away, so far.

Viennese prom staff got the go-ahead from Wisconsin State and UW-Eau Claire to host the prom this year.

“Once we got permission to do this and the mask mandate was lifted, we were very happy to have this in person again,” said the executive director of the Viennese Ball, Christine Schumachermentioned.

The two-night event is back, but precautions are still in place. “We encourage people, if they still want to wear their masks, they can definitely do that,” Schumacher said.

The UWEC event coordinator, Tyler Edmondson, says it has limited ticket sales this year for the event. “We’ve limited our ticket numbers to 1,000 per night, we’ve traditionally done around 1,500 per night,” Edmondson said.

Through ticket sales, the Viennese Ball provides over $30,000 in scholarships to UW-Eau Claire students each year. The music is one of the main highlights of the evening, and this year’s prom features around 250 students in ensemble or solo performances.

UWEC student Phoebe Wolf says her participation in the music program is how she discovered prom. “It’s my first year here,” Wolf said. “I was really excited when I joined the Women’s Concert Chorale in the second semester and found out that we would be singing at prom, especially being the first in a while since COVID.”

It took a team of employees from many departments across campus to bring these two nights of elegance to life. “I’m very pleasantly surprised, after two years away, at how well things are going and how excited people are,” Edmondson said.

Tickets for Saturday night are sold out, but you can donate to the scholarship fund here.

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