All About the Winter Ball

What is the Winter Ball? 

The Winter Ball is North Jersey Pride's biannual fundraiser for our LGBTQ educational and community-building programs, including: 


• RAD Family. Proceeds will support our incredible RAD Family program for gender-fluid and non-binary kids and their families. RAD Family creates a safe, secure space for children and teens who live outside our culture's rigid gender boxes. The group meets monthly—for more info, please email radkids@northjerseypride.org


LGBTQ Teens. North Jersey Pride has received numerous requests from parents asking where their LGBTQ teens can meet others like them—unfortunately, options are limited. Too many LGBTQ teens feel isolated and alone, making them more vulnerable to depression and easier targets for bullying. We will be launch a new program this year to host regular supervised social outings for LGBTQ teens so they can find community in a safe, supportive environment. 


• Pride Month events. Every June, North Jersey Pride offers a full slate of events for our community, from film screenings and panel discussions to dance parties and family outings. Your support will enable us to keep the family-friendly Pride Festival free and all other events either free or as accessible as possible.  


Read more about how your donation will help.

 

I noticed this year's ticket price is higher than the last winter ball. Can I ask why?

Absolutely—and we have answers. This year's event is a significant upgrade for us, and for you; although not a sit down dinner (for space reasons), expect a serious smorgasbord in addition to open bar. (Think Porterhouse steak, beef short ribs, Peking duck, grilled salmon, shrimp scampi, stuffed mushrooms...and on and on.) You'll be getting a whole lot more for your ticket price—and we promise you will never have this much fun giving to charity. Keep in mind that, because our staff is all-volunteer and we have no salaries or overhead, every penny of proceeds will go directly to bottom-line expenses to run our programs. Oh—and have we mentioned this year is NJP's 10th anniversary? That alone deserves an outsized celebration! 


If you're coming with a group of friends, take advantage of our group rate by ordering 10 tickets together, and you'll get a 25% discount on the entire order! 


Wait—this year will really be North Jersey Pride's 10th Pride Festival??

I know, right?? Time flies! We are planning our biggest celebration ever. If you'd like to join our Pride committee to help us plan the Best Pride Ever, drop us a line!


What's so great about the Twenties? 

Good question! Did you know that more than 50 years before the heroic stand at Stonewall Inn, Harlem’s drag balls were part of a flourishing, highly visible LGBTQ nightlife and culture? At the height of Prohibition in the mid-20s, these drag balls attracted as many as 7,000 people of various races and social classes—gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight alike. So much of our culture today started 100 years ago in those clubs and speakeasies!


Unfortunately, that renaissance occurred during a time when simply being L,G, B, T or Q could land one in prison. So we are taking back the Twenties! All of the swank, plenty of booze, but none of the bigotry that marred that earlier golden age. This is OUR DECADE!


Ok, I'm sold! What should I wear?

We know, as an LGBTQ organization, that it’s best never to tell queer folk what to wear—and we have no desire to hamper your individual sartorial freedom of expression. But the event is kind of, well, fancy. So we encourage you to dress in whatever way makes you feel fancy, festive and gender-comfy. (And if that means coming in drag, by all means!) One note of caution: There will be lots of dancing so consider that when making your shoe selection.


North Jersey Pride is a family-friendly organization. Can I bring my kids? 

You know we love kids...but no. Unless your kids are over 21. Then it's up to you to decide whether you want them watching you on the dance floor.


I'm straight. Can I still attend?

Are you kidding?? We love, love, love our supportive allies! Not only can you attend, but we will roll out the red carpet for you. (Full disclosure: We will be rolling out a red carpet for everyone. But you can totally pretend it's just for you.)


Is there parking at the venue?

Yes, the Maplewood Country Club does have plenty of parking. It's also a short walk (and even shorter uber/lyft) from the train station. If you're planning to get your drink on, please rideshare!  


I live in the city. How big of a trek is this?

Great news! The Club is about 2/10 of a mile from the train station and you'll find trains every hour to/from New York Penn Station, a lovely 35-to-40-minute direct ride. Check NJ Transit for the schedule deets.

Attendees MUST be 21-and-over to enter and ID will be checked.


Have more questions? Email us at info(at)northjerseypride.org.


We can't wait to see you at the Ball!


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Thank you to our incredibly generous photographer, Bill Hollingsworth of Hollingsworth Digital Artistry Studios!