The Middlemarch Singles' Ball continues the tradition of rural dances pioneered by late 19th century settlers. It is often advertised as 'the matchmaking event of the year'. Large numbers of single men and women from all over New Zealand board the 'love' train from Dunedin to travel through the Taieri Gorge to the small settlement of Middlemarch for the ball.
Tickets for this popular event often sell out within a few days. People do not go as couples, and the men attending are expected to strut their stuff so the single women can assess the 'talent' on offer. Some people meet, dance and fall in love, but for many the ball is simply an excuse for a good night out with friends.
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Otago Daily Times
Photograph by Stephen Jaquiery
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