The Grand Ball of the Knights of Revelry highlighted Selma’s holiday social calendar Friday evening. Chartered in 1933 by attorney Harry Gamble, who saw the social group as a means to lift the spirits of Selmans during the Great Depression, the Knights are celebrating 79 years in the spirit of good cheer.
The evening opened with a cocktail party, hosted by the incoming King and his Queen at Sturdivant Hall, where their guests enjoyed the festive decorations and a delightful buffet before departing for the Selma Country Club and the Grand March of The Grand Ball.
Decorated for the Yule season with traditional Christmas trees, evergreen wreaths tied with festive red ribbons and garlands of evergreen, red velvet and gold, the club was a gala setting for the festive affair. Guests commanded by his Excellency King B-Ski LXXXLL to be present, awaited eagerly the sound of trumpets announcing the entrance of the royal court.
Knights of the venerable organization entered, dressed in formal attire with colorful ribbons of rank slashed across their starched shirt fronts: red worn by the king, gold by the crown prince and green by the exchequer. The Knights circled the ballroom, greeting friends and hailing the officers and their ladies to the rhythmic tap-tap-tap of their canes, in syncopated timing to the musical beat of the orchestra AZZ/IZZ! from Atlanta.
The cane tapping, a longstanding tradition observed by the Knights, is believed to have its origin at the University of Virginia or perhaps Sewanee, University of the South, where the late Harry Gamble was educated.
The entrance of the King B-Ski LXXXLL and his royal court was another nostalgic moment as Knight Herald William Gamble announced the new ruling monarch: His Excellency Cartledge W. Blackwell Jr.
Escorted by the Royal Seneschals, His Excellency mounted the Royal Throne and was joined by his Queen Sara Crum. Also taking their places in the royal court were Crown Prince Charles “Boo” Frazer and his Lady Coralie and Exchequer Clyde Cox and his Lady Carolyn.
Then, in response to a royal command from the King, who read a humorous and original proclamation, the ruling couple began the evening of merriment with an opening dance, shared by their invitation to the court and the guests.
The Knights of Revelry again this year continues in the Yuletide spirit of peace and good will to all with the wish: And may all your holidays be bright.