EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – After two years, UW-Eau Claire can finally bring back an annual celebration of Viennese culture.

Davies Student Center was filled with hundreds of people eating, dancing and enjoying musical performances this weekend. It was an experience that COVID-19 had taken away, until now.

The Viennese Ball event staff got the green light from the state of Wisconsin and UW-Eau Claire to hold the Ball this year.

“Once we got clearance to do that, and the mask mandate was lifted, we were very happy to have this in-person again,” Executive Director of the Viennese Ball, Kristin Schumacher, said.

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

The UWEC Event Coordinator, Tyler Edmondson, said that they limited this year’s ticket sales for the event. “We limited our ticket numbers to 1,000 per night, we’ve traditionally done about 1,500 per night,” Edmondson said.

Through ticket sales, the Viennese Ball provides more than $30,000 in scholarships each year to UW-Eau Claire students. Music is one of the main highlights of the night, and this year’s Ball features around 250 students in either ensemble or solo performances.

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

It took a team of staff from many departments across campus to bring these two nights of elegance back to life. “I am very pleasantly surprised, after being away for two years how smooth 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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