Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) will be the venue for this year’s Fall Ball,
held on Saturday, Oct. 21. The theme of the dance is “Ghouls and Gowns,” which means that attendees are welcome to wear classic formal attire or a Halloween costume.
Ian Ishibashi ’25, this year’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) chair, shared the process of planning this event.
“Our role as CAB for Fall Ball is deciding the theme,” Ishibashi said.
“It happened to fall the weekend before Halloween so because of that we decided not to do a Halloween event and just make Fall Ball the Halloween event.”
Vice Chair of CAB Emma Ramsey ’24 echoed this sentiment and expressed excitement at this year’s theme.
“Picking a theme is always the hardest part, but with it being so close to Halloween, it made the most sense,” Ramsey said. “We are so excited to see how the student body dresses up.”
Choosing the venue, however, took a much more roundabout route than the theme decision.
“OMSI happened to be the only one available to us at the time and it would also be able to hold the capacity that we average throughout the years,” Ishibashi said. “Capacity is a really hard thing to find for a venue in Portland especially since they are all smaller. We were considering the zoo at one point but (it) had some events going on at the time that we put in.”
Ishibashi notes that another aspect making reservations difficult is having to work around when other big events for the school are already scheduled, so they do not have flexibility to choose dates based on venue availability. Unfortunately, despite efforts to avoid overlapping the ball with other events, this Saturday is also when Once Upon a Weekend, a student-written, acted and directed theatre festival, will be held.
CAB also had to make the reservation significantly in advance, further complicating the planning. Ishibashi explains that the reservation for OMSI was booked in August.
“Another venue we considered was the Crystal Ballroom which we have actually done balls at in the past, but they were fully booked already. We just had to find a good venue that will hold the capacity,” Ishibashi said.
Despite their perusal of other options, CAB thinks OMSI turned out to be the perfect venue. Ishibashi points to the unique combination of typical party features and exclusive opportunities to explore the museum.
“We will have access to three exhibits that are presently there. One of them is an orca exhibit, one is a natural defenses exhibit about how animals survive in the wild and that will include about three live animal shows throughout the night and the last one is the natural sciences hall. But also it has the normal fall ball features: catering, live DJ and dancing.”
The orca and natural defenses displays are temporary specialty exhibits that museum-goers usually have to pay extra to see, while the Natural Sciences Hall remains a permanent feature included with general admission. The Hall is currently showing displays on prenatal human development, weather patterns of the globe and geological formations. The OMSI website advertises the many features of their current exhibits.
“Orcas: Our Shared Future includes more than 100 original artifacts and specimens, featuring life-size Orca replicas, fossils, films, objects from popular culture, and original artwork from the Indigenous peoples of the North American west coast,” the website states.
The other temporary exhibit, entitled “Staying Alive: Defenses of the Animal Kingdom,” explores adaptations such as camouflage and mimicry, venom and poison, speed and evasion.
“In this gorgeous exhibit, you can get up close and personal with 16 live animals and learn all about the extraordinary tactics and adaptations they use to survive—featuring hands- on interactives and on-site animal experts,” the website states.
In addition to free exhibit viewing for attendees, hosting the ball at OMSI
also provides benefits for those involved in preparation and cleanup.
“I will say the venue is making it so much more chill (to plan), as we don’t have much to decorate because the museum speaks for itself,” Ramsey said.
CAB has high hopes for the ball, and widespread excitement from students has been notable around campus, even if not yet reflected in ticket sales.
“Lewis & Clark students are notoriously last minute about buying it,” Ishibashi said. “So far we sold about
100 tickets, but last year I remember for Spring Fling in the last two days we sold over 250 tickets, so it’s unpredictable.”
Purchase your tickets at the Student Engagement desk in Fowler Monday- Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for $10 if you are an LC student and $15 if you are not. Credit or debit cards, Apple Pay and cash are all accepted.
“Everyone on CAB is very excited to see how the students enjoy the exhibits, and we hope everyone has fun,” Ramsey said.