Apollo Ball

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A tableau from Apollo Ball XXXIV (2010)

The Apollo Ball is a formal Carnival ball, or bal masque, hosted by the Mystic Krewe of Apollo. It is held on the first weekend of February each year at Boutwell Auditorium. The annual celebration includes a Lieutenant's Party, where the identities of the King and Queen of that year's ball are revealed; a Captain's Party, to welcome out-of-town guests; the ball itself, and a Brunch the next day where the outgoing royals toast their successors.

As the city's largest regular formal event, the ball attracts as many as 1,800 guests, many from out of town.

The formal ball is highlighted by the presentation of tableaux vivants, featuring elaborately-designed costumes worn on stage to represent the ball's theme. Musical and dance performances are often included, as well as the presentation of the King and Queen, and a recognition of the year's winners of the "Mr & Miss Apollo Birmingham" pageant.


  • 1977: The inaugural Apollo Ball, with the theme "Shady Ladies", was held at the Roma Country Club on January 27. Roland Dobson was captain. King Jerry Bradley and Queen Jimmy Brown reigned over the festivities.
  • 1978: Apollo Ball II had the theme of "Egyptian Mythology" and was also captained by Dobson. Jim Ackis and Robert Logan were the King and Queen.
  • 1979: Apollo Ball III celebrated "A Night at the Opera" and was captained by Jim Rawls. Ben Rowell and Jonathan Harrison were the King and Queen.
  • 1980: Apollo Ball IV, also captained by Rawls, celebrated the "World's Greatest Lovers" and toasted King Jim East and Queen Nick Contanzano.
  • 1981: Apollo Ball V was organized by Michael Johnston on the theme of a "Night on Mount Olympus" with Buddy Robbins as King and Phillip Schillaci as Queen.
  • 1982: Apollo Ball VI, captained by Johnston, celebrated "Wonders of Nature" with David Jones and William Winslett as the reigning royals.
  • 1983: Apollo Ball VII, "The French Ball", was also Johnston's, and presented Michael Lyda and Don Gilmore as King and Queen.
  • 1984: Apollo Ball VIII, produced by Captain Don Gilmore, had an "International" theme, toasted by King Danny Roberts and Queen Jose Baez.
  • 1985: Apollo Ball IX, marking a return by Captain Michael Johnston, revolved on a "Zodiac" theme with Grant May as King and John Laskow as Queen.
  • 1986: Apollo Ball X, a "Floral Fantasy", was captained by Buddy Robbins and featured Henry Levens as King and Michael Johnston as Queen.
  • 1987: Apollo Ball XI, produced by Captain Robert Logan, took guests "Over the Rainbow", led by King Ron Johnson and Queen Michael Clark.
  • 1988: Apollo Ball XII, with a "Showtime" theme, was organized by Buddy Robbins. Steve Thomas and Bill Johnston were King and Queen.
  • 1989: Apollo Ball XIII, a "Mardi Gras Masquerade" captained by Henry Levins, featured Billy Cox as King and Jimmy Walker as Queen.
  • 1990: Apollo Ball XIV. Captain Bill Johnson presented "A Night in Troy" with King Ray Wilkins and Queen Buddy Robbins.
  • 1991: Apollo Ball XV celebrated "Travel in Time". Captain Grant May hosted King Dan Johnson and Queen Bruce Beaird.
  • 1992: Apollo Ball XVI was organized by John Laskow on the theme of "Hooray for Hollywood". James Beersdorf and Michael Lyda reigned as King and Queen.
  • 1993: Apollo Ball XVII. King Alan Mayes and Queen Tim Pinkham helped Captain Jeb Lawson "Capture the Wonder".
  • 1994: Apollo Ball XVIII: Buddy Robbins resumed captain's duties for a night in the "Wild, Wild West" with King Harry Garwood and Queen Brian Vaughn.
  • 1995: Apollo Ball XIX, Robbins followed up with an evening of "Cocktails" in honor of King Lee Bennet and Queen Robert Noah.
  • 1996: Apollo Ball XX, another Robbins production, brought a "Celebration of Imperial Royalty" headlined by King Chuck Newham and Queen Chris Watson.
  • 1997: Apollo Ball XXI, Captained by Robert Noah, the "Under the Big Top" gala honored King Greg Tharpe and Queen Dickey Baker.
  • 1998: Apollo Ball XXII, "The Red Hot Ball", was captained by Thom Satterfield for King Mitchell Harrison and Queen Hugh Comer.
  • 1999: Apollo Ball XXIII marked a return to the Captaincy of Buddy Robbins, with a theme of "Apollo in Production" to honor Randy Green and Derek Spellman, the King and Queen.
  • 2000: Apollo Ball XXIV represented "The Best of Everything" as presented by John Laskow for King Kurt Williams and Queen Thom Satterfield.
  • 2001: Apollo Ball XXV was also coordinated by Laskow and marked "An Affair to Remember" with King Jack Early and Queen Jon Mracek reigning.
  • 2002: Apollo Ball XXVI. Captain Mitchell Harrison staged a ball on the theme of "Once Upon A Time" for Blaine Humphrey and Kevin Dobbins as King and Queen.
  • 2003: Apollo Ball XXVII brought "Apollo Under the Sea" for King Tony Gortney and Queen Garry Peace. Randy Green was Captain.
  • 2004: Apollo Ball XXVIII, "The Blue Ball", was organized by Chuck Leachman. Bruce Beaird and Jim Barron were King and Queen.
  • 2005: Apollo Ball XXIX. Randy Green presented "If The Shoe Fits" for King Gary Jones and Queen Douglas Fedak.
  • 2006: Apollo Ball XXX, "There's Nothing Dirty Going On", was captained by Garry Peace for King John Sexton and Queen Michael Fortson.
  • 2007: Apollo Ball XXXI, Captained by Garry Peace, showcased "Apollo on Safari... Get Wild", with Jeffrey Allison as King and Scott Sanford as Queen.
  • 2008: Apollo Ball XXXII was staged by John Hurley on the theme of "Apollo's Wide World of Sports". King Scott Capps reigned.
  • 2009: Apollo Ball XXXIII was organized by Captain Jim Barron with the them of "Bird of a Feather" for King Michael McCray and Queen Michael Parker.
  • 2010: Apollo Ball XXXIV was presented by John Hurley with Buddy Robbins as his honorary co-captain. King Greg Smith and Queen James Akers toasted the theme of "Fire & Ice".
  • 2011: Apollo Ball XXXV was captained by Bob Greenlee, urging guests to "Come Party With Us".

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