Flashback Friday: The Washington Birthday Ball


The Washington Birthday Ball was THE event of the social season during Palm Beach's Gilded Age.

The Feb. 22 ball is sometimes recalled as the end of the winter season in Palm Beach, but most resorts remained open well into March, so historic newspaper accounts more accurately describe the ball as the highlight of the season. 

The Palm Beach Daily News declared the 1915 ball the "biggest event of the biggest season in the history of America's most famous winter resort."

In 1928 the Shiny Sheet rapsodized:

Thirty-three seasons, each one a little more brilliant than the last, have come and gone since the first Washington's Birthday Ball was given at the Royal Poinciana, and like the seasons, the balls have grown more gorgeous in decorations and more imaginatively beautiful with every succeeding year.

During the Flagler era the ball was held in the ballroom at the Royal Poinciana Hotel, but in later decades it changed venues — to the  Colony Club in 1938 and  Whitehall in 1956

 



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

UPDATE: Boca Mayor Susan Haynie’s court arraignment today canceled
UPDATE: Boca Mayor Susan Haynie’s court arraignment today canceled

Update Thursday at 6:30 a.m.: Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie’s arraignment hearing Thursday was canceled.  The hearing hasn’t yet been rescheduled. Haynie pleaded not guilty to the four felony and three misdemeanor charges. Original story: The first court hearing in Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie’s public corruption case is...
'The Chew' canceled: ABC kills foodie talk show amid Mario Batali allegations
'The Chew' canceled: ABC kills foodie talk show amid Mario Batali allegations

ABC’s appetite for afternoon talk show “The Chew” is over after seven years. Instead, a third hour of “Good Morning America” will air at 1 p.m. starting this fall.  “The Chew,” currently hosted by Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Michael Symon, replaced “All My Children” in 2011. Former...
T.I. rails against Houston's restaurant after actresses' arrests from bathroom
T.I. rails against Houston's restaurant after actresses' arrests from bathroom

Renewed criticism is emerging for Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta as three actresses say they were wrongfully arrested and attacked at the Peachtree Road restaurant after using the restroom. The Atlanta Police Department is investigating whether an off-duty officer working security at the restaurant used excessive force, the agency told...
Growth slowing across Palm Beach County, Census figures show
Growth slowing across Palm Beach County, Census figures show

Population growth slowed in nearly every nook and cranny of Palm Beach County, Census Bureau estimates released Thursday show. In the latest year reported, population growth was typically two-thirds of what it had been a year earlier, and many cities grew at about half the rate of this decade’s average. Boynton Beach was the best at keeping its...
Jupiter bus driver being called ‘a hero’ after saving child’s life
Jupiter bus driver being called ‘a hero’ after saving child’s life

Every day Sharonda Akins, of West Palm Beach, picks up the same group of Jupiter Farms Elementary School students from their bus stop and drops them off at the end of the day. She has learned all their names and even plays Kidz Bop as she drives them. But around 2:15 on May 15, Akin’s typical Tuesday took a scary turn. She was forced to act on...
More Stories