The Mermaids Gave Us a Fairytale of St Andrews at Christmas Ball

Chiara Wilkinson reviews the Christmas Ball.

The 2017 Mermaids Christmas Ball was a much needed final opportunity for those eager to put on their glad rags in festive celebration before the dampening reality of exams.

Due to the usual record sellout of tickets – and the usual exploiters of the free market, reselling tickets for as much as £85 – guests rightfully had high expectations to be fulfilled. And they were not to be disappointed: the Mermaids successfully upheld the legacy of their year-on-year Christmas extravaganza at Kinkell with this year’s theme, “The Fairytale of New York.”

Photo: Lightbox Creative

On entering the venue, a playlist of New York themed songs and artworks of popular Broadway shows welcomed the guests, before they were immediately stunned by the spectacular and mouthwatering display of multiple chocolate fountains and nibbles. After sweet teeth were thoroughly satisfied, guests were invited to indulge further as they were greeted with the traditional glass of bubbly ahead of making their way into an incredibly festive Kinkell.

New York street signs continued to remind guests of the evening’s theme, along with suitable centrepieces on top of circular tables which were situated next to the main bar area – perfect for sitting to chat with a newly bought drink, or more importantly, to concentrate on devouring the free Jannetta’s ice cream. Drinks prices were only marginally more expensive than the Union, and the menu consisted of the classic Blue Pablo as well as an appropriate “Christmas Pablo,” which translated to a red VK and some shimmers. Several Eden Mill mixtures were also on the list, coming in at a mere £3 for what amounted to two units.

Photo: Lightbox Creative

In the small room, which you were shuttled through after going to the toilets or smoking area, performances from a cappella groups were up for entertainment; however it was very much utilised as a photo opportunity space. At one end, a massive Central Park-esque Christmas tree dominated the space, whilst at the other side, “The Grotto,”  you could have your photograph taken with Buddy the Elf in front of an extremely instagrammable backdrop.

To the left of the dance floor, a snow-themed walkway led guests to a spectacularly lit up marquee, with a number of tables and more chilled out music, allowing for a perfect relaxed area to socialise. Guests were seen comparing tattoos from the Class Gift stand, or demolishing their choice of one of the many food stands available to purchase: BlackHorn’s wraps and hot dogs, The Cheesy Toast Shack, and The Crepe Shack were all on offer, as well as mulled wine cider and the Fine Food & Dining Society’s more affordable option of New York themed giant pretzels.

Photo: Lightbox Creative

The main dancefloor at points admittedly appeared a bit dead – whether this was down to the choice of music or the guests preoccupation with the other, food-related activities is down for debate. After a set from JazzWorks, which saw loved up couples dancing together ballroom style, the band Black Sheep took to the stage, playing many classic sing along favourites such as “Sex on Fire,” as well as some noticeably less popular tracks. They were followed by Ricky Thunder & the Thought Police, who kept spirits high with tunes such as “Mr Brightside” and “500 Miles.”

Around midnight, DJ Liquid Alloy took to the stage and played a selection of cheesy classics, by which point, the space was packed full of merry and to the most part, drunken guests: Chunder was, unfortunately, seen on the dancefloor. Despite guests commenting on the apparent lack of smooth mixing between tracks, the DJ succeeded in providing our favourite Christmas songs. The long awaited “All I Want for Christmas is You” rounded off the magical night, guests frolicking and dancing until the very last note, before an array of tuxes and sequins stumbled onto buses in real festive spirit.

If one thing is for certain, the Mermaids certainly know how to put on a good show. Sunday night will be remembered as a joyous and delightful evening for all who attended: the sparkles, glamour and energy of the Big Apple was flourishingly captured in St Andrew’s own night of fairytales.

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