Students join the queen for 35th fanciful feaste

Erik Urycki

Queen Elizabeth and the lords and ladies of her court graced Kent State over the weekend for the 35th Annual Yuletide Feaste.

The event, a joint effort between University Dinning Services and Kent Student Center Programming, featured a generous dinner and entertainment at the Student Center Ballroom, which was transformed into the queen’s late-16th century castle.

Pine garlands and red poinsettias made for a Christmas feel for those in attendance.

Guests entering the ballroom were greeted by a Herald who guided them over a drawbridge and past two knight statues into the dinning area where a harpsichord player performed a variety of traditional songs.

A wine bar offering both dry and sweet wines displayed a reindeer ice sculpture adding an elegant effect to the atmosphere.

“They (Kent Student Center Programming) want to make sure it looks as authentic as they can get it,” said Hanna McGee, senior textiles major and a performer in the Feaste. “The best part is people’s reaction to it. It’s nice to see it pays off.”

Cloth lights, resembling torches, and medieval banners lined the ballroom adding to the late-16th century motif.

Once the guests were seated, Queen Elizabeth and her court entered the ballroom to the sounds of the Kent State Trombone Ensemble performing from the balcony.

After guests joined the queen for a Christmas toast of Wassail, the boar’s head was presented to the audience and dinner was served.

The candle-lit dinner featured a lightly seasoned, stuffed chicken on Thursday and an herb crusted, slow roasted rib of beef on Friday and Saturday.

While guests feasted over the evening’s food and spirits, members of the Kent State Choral visited the tables, performing four-part harmony Christmas carols.

After dessert was served, the choral performed the night’s entertainment including three songs by the eight-member group, Ars Nova Singers.

The choral sang 13 songs throughout the evening, including “Silent night, holy night” and “O come, All Ye faithful.”

The performances marked the end of choral director C.M. Shearer’s 21-year run as the Yuletide Feast’s director. He is retiring this spring.

On Saturday night, alumni of the Kent State Choral returned to help celebrate the festivities and Shearer’s career.

Contact on-campus entertainment reporter Erik Urycki at

[email protected].