Where and when is the 2017 New Orleans Witches’ Ball?

The 2017 New Orleans Witches’ Ball will be held on Saturday, October 28th at the Van Benthuysen – Elms Mansion & Gardens, located at 3029 St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District of New Orleans. The gate will open promptly at 8:00pm and our celebration will last until 12 Midnight. [/expand]

I’m coming in from out of town. Where’s a good place to stay?

We will post info on our hotel block soon. If you prefer to book on your own, New Orleans is filled with many quality establishments at which to lay your sleepy head. Due to the wide range of personal preferences and budgets, we are loathe to pinpoint any one in particular. We will say that they all tend to sell out very early, so if you have plans to attend the NOWB in 2017 and you have not yet booked a room, you should consider doing so very soon! If you can’t find one suitable in Orleans Parish, check the surrounding areas of Metairie and the West Bank. Not sure where the hotel is in relation to the venue? Use Google Maps to view distances from the Elms Mansion to your hotel choice.

If you’re looking to save some $$, you can also post on the NOWB’s Facebook page to inquire if there are any folks who might want to share a room.

Where can I park? What is the best way to get around New Orleans?

Parking at the Elms Mansion on the night of the Ball is on the street. It is usually pretty easy but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to secure a spot super-close by – you may have a walk of a couple of blocks. Be mindful of fire hydrants, driveways, etc. or you may be towed. If you’re staying at our host hotel, the Hampton Inn, you can park on premises. Valet service is available. There is also parking all over the French Quarter and the rest of the city but please be mindful that the Meter Mavens and Tow Trucks roam like vultures over carrion. Park wisely!

To get around the city, as well as to and from the Elms Mansion on the night of the NOWB, you can choose the RTA bus, a pedi-cab (fun!), the streetcar, or a taxi.

What is the Dress Code for the 2017 New Orleans Witches’ Ball?

The New Orleans Witches’ Ball is planned as a truly extravagant event, therefore we expect all attendees to adhere to our dress code of Creative Black Tie/Formal Costume Masquerade.

What does that mean? Here are some examples:

Tuxedo/Elegant Gown or Other Formal Evening Wear with Masque.

Witches in their most exquisite witchy finery. (We LOVE big elaborate witch hats!)

Other well-thought-out, well-planned costumes are welcome, including: Pagan Gods and Goddesses, Druid, Gothic, Faery, Steampunk, Historical, Dark Angel, Mythology, Burlesque, Medieval, Renaissance, Vampire, Fairy-Tale, and anything else that comes to mind that one could consider to be worthy of a formal Witches’ Masquerade Ball. You CANNOT overdress for the New Orleans Witches’ Ball!

The 2017 theme, ‘The Witching Hour: A Hallowe’en Soiree with Stella Mayfair‘, lends itself to an amazing array of costuming ideas! Please visit our ‘The Witching Hour’ Pinterest Board for inspiration.

Please, no jeans, no t-shirts, no casual street wear, no club wear, and no tennis shoes. This will be strictly enforced; you will not be admitted if you show up and are not dressed appropriately for a formal costumed event, and no refund will be given. Also, we ask that you respect the formality of this event and not show up in costumes that would be more appropriate elsewhere. If you don’t know what that means, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

Is there a costume contest? How does it work?

YES! After last year’s outcry about no contests, they are returning, so be creative with your attire!

There are three categories for 2017: Best Witch’s Hat, Best Theme Attire: Single and Best Theme Attire: Couple. For 2017, participants will promenade through the Courtyard Gazebo (the specific time will be on the schedule handout) and their attire will be reviewed by a select number of judges, with winners announced shortly thereafter!

Each winner gets a prize basket filled with all manner of witchy goodies, valued at over $300!

How much are tickets to the Ball and how do I purchase them?

Please check back soon to find out how to get tickets to our 2017 event!

Will there be a photographer or videographer at the Witches’ Ball?

Yes, we have candid and portrait photographers in-house for the duration of the evening! More details coming soon!

**A note for those who do not want to be photographed or filmed: We are aware that some people do not want to be photographed or filmed, however, please keep in mind that this IS a public event which will have hundreds of people in attendance. If you are truly adamant that you not be photographed or filmed in any manner for fear of recognition, we also suggest masking as part of your attire for the evening, as there will be many people in attendance with cameras and a mask will shield your identity. In short, we cannot guarantee that you will not be photographed or filmed.

If this is truly a serious concern for you and you don’t feel that masking will be enough of a shield for your privacy, then we suggest that you reconsider your attendance.

Can I take photographs at the Witches’ Ball?

Of course you can – BUT – please ask permission first if you are photographing others, and please respect those who decline. Some Pagans or Witches are not “out of the broom closet” and prefer their anonymity, and some just do NOT like their photos taken at all!

Do I have to be a Witch or a Pagan to attend the Witches’ Ball?

No! The entire event is open to the public. If you are open-minded and would be comfortable with an eclectic mix of friendly adults of all ages, some of whom do practice non-traditional religions or beliefs, then you’re welcome to join us. The New Orleans Witches’ Ball is open to everyone.

What about food and alcohol?

This event is catered – hors d’oeuvres and lots of other New Orleans delights – so there will be plenty to eat. Your ticket also includes unlimited access to the open bar for the duration of the event. No outside food or drink is allowed.

Will there be a reader available?

Yes! Please be aware, however, that we only have a certain amount of space available for our readers and therefore must limit their number, so with that in mind, please understand that there is NO WAY POSSIBLE that each attendee will have a chance for a reading. We use a numbering system so that you can walk away for a bit and enjoy the party but the wait may be long. If you find that you will not get into the Parlor during the event, please make plans to book a private reading.

Please remember that readings are free but donations to the readers are strongly encouraged and appreciated!

Is the Witches’ Ball suitable for children?

No, it is not. In some Pagan and Witch communities, the Witches’ Ball is considered a family event, but the New Orleans Witches’ Ball is a 21-and-over, adults-only event. Please don’t place us in the uncomfortable position of having to tell you, “No.” We fully understand that your child is mature and would do quite well at an adult event, but due to Louisiana’s strict 21-and-over drinking laws, NO ONE under 21 is allowed into the event. No exceptions. We appreciate your understanding.

Do I need to bring any money?

No and yes. The price of the ticket covers everything – entry, food, drink, and entertainment. Readings in the Parlor of Destiny are free, however, we strongly encourage you to bring cash to tip the readers should you decide to get a reading. You may also want to bring cash or check to participate in our “Choose Your Charity” Fundraiser, which is going to have some amazing items again in 2017!

Can I smoke cigarettes at the Witches’ Ball?

Not inside, but the Van Benthuysen-Elms Mansion DOES have a designated smoking area outside. No e-cigarettes are allowed inside either. 😉

What if I need help, have a question, have lost an item, want to check a coat, etc?

Go to the Information Table at the gate and the person there will summon someone to help you.

What else is going on in New Orleans on Halloween weekend?

Other than our own, another fun local event is hosted by our nocturnal friends at Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat Fan Club. Their annual Coven Ball is always lots of fang-y fun! Check out their website for more information!

We also suggest that you make time for shopping with our local sponsors and the supporters listed in our Event Guide! Click here for a list of tours and other activities. There’s so much to do and see in New Orleans that you’ll have a hard time choosing!

I can’t make it this year but I’d like to try to get there in the next year or two. Do you have any future dates set yet so that I can begin to make plans?

We’re working on dates for 2018 – 2020 and will have those posted soon because it’s never too early to start planning your trip!

Other questions?

If you still have questions regarding the New Orleans Witches’ Ball after reading the FAQ, please contact us at info@neworleanswitchesball.com.