Southern tradition showcased at annual ball

Five Southern Belles made a grand entrance under raised swords at the 48th Annual Confederate Ball, held March 4 at the Florida Yacht Club in Ortega.

This year’s Belles include Elizabeth Grich, whose Confederate ancestor is William Derr, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Virginia Cavalry; Hannah Arnold, whose ancestor is Stephen Roberson of the Georgia Cavalry; Hannah Harper, whose ancestor, Sanders Watson was a member of the Georgia Infantry; Hailey Jenkins, whose ancestor is Reason Swilley, of the Florida Infantry, and Riley Smith, whose ancestor, Thomas Richardson, served in an Infantry Battalion in South Carolina.

Over 300 belles have promenaded in hooped skirts since 1971; belles were not presented at the first ball in 1970.

Sponsored by the Sons of the Confederacy, Captain J.J. Dickison Chapter of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, the annual event benefits the G. Howard Bryan Museum of Southern History, located at 4304 Herschel St.

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