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Depending on the weather, Mardi Gras celebrants in St. Louis will either bundle up or dress down. In Hermann there's no guesswork: You should definitely dress up for the Fasching Ball. Germany's version of Mardi Gras, Fasching requires participants to don a fantastic costume, eat well, have a few drinks and make merry until they drop or Ash Wednesday arrives. The Fasching Ball continues that tradition, but with a twist: Your costume should have a Renaissance or Medieval flair to better match the madrigal ball theme. Go ahead and get all Chaucered up, then prepare to stuff yourself by candlelight at the promised "groaning board" sagging under masses of Renaissance-style baked fowl, artisan cheeses, bread and fresh butter. A specially commissioned play is part of the evening's entertainment, and don't be surprised if the actors pull a few particularly well-dressed guests into the story. Other period touches include performances by harpist Lady Adley Kent and the Greenleaf Singers — and a few birds of prey perched around the room add a noble ambiance to the proceedings. The Fasching Ball begins at 7 p.m. at the Hermannhof's Festhalle (237 East First Street, Hermann; or 573-486-4276); tickets are $25 to $30, and advance reservations are recommended.
Fri., Feb. 1, 2008

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