Put on your dancing shoes

Published 12:52 pm Monday, April 26, 2010

The new Shadowland Ballroom, part of the new Silver Beach Center, has generated so much interest it is booked for every Saturday through October. Photo by Jennifer Mayo Studios, jmstudios.com


Just mention the old Shadowland Ballroom and no doubt many a memory will be evoked for those who remember it.

It’s easy to stand just outside the location of the new Shadowland Ballroom and get lost in the sound of the waves lapping against the shore, the scent of the air and the feel of the sand beneath the feet while making an approach to whatever event might be lighting up the inside.
The Shadowland has quite the history.

But this is the new Shadowland and it’s creating quite a buzz.

Part of the Silver Beach Center, the Shadowland Ballroom, more than 4,800 square-feet, accommodates receptions of 250 comfortably.

The facility is “built specifically for celebrations,” said Anne Vonk, director of sales for the ballroom. “It’s a very happy place.”

Happy and full.

Vonk said the ballroom is already booked every Saturday from June to October and she’s already getting inquiries for the venue into 2012.

“We get far more wedding reception inquiries than anything else,” she said. “I see it as the premiere place, the place to have a wedding reception.

“For the bride that wants a beach wedding but maybe doesn’t want all of guests to have their feet in the sand,” Vonk said, the ballroom is the perfect option.

The Shadowland sits just off the beach, a leisurely stroll away from the shore and a gaze upward at downtown St. Joseph.

“You are down at the beach, but it is all enclosed,” Vonk said. Those who have been inside have commented on the woodwork of the new venue, the trim and the hardwood floor accented by a piece of the old ballroom’s floor in the center.

“From what people have heard and even from the pictures online, people are thinking it’s more beautiful than they imagined,” she said. “They are really appreciating the finishing touches. They’ve fallen in love with it.”

Brides are booking the room without seeing it first, Vonk said. Enclosed as it may be, giving guests the “beauty of the beach and the creature comforts of being in a finished building,” the venue is also accented by windows that give guests the chance to see one of the lake’s spectacular sunsets.

“I think it’s as beachy and as close to the beach as you can be while still retaining the ambiance and formality of a more conventional reception hall,” Vonk said. “It has the best of both worlds.”

The Shadowland Ballroom is just part of the newly named Silver Beach Center which will serve as the backdrop to a multitude of events this season:

During Silver Beach Center’s operating hours, visitors can also stroll the covered boardwalk and look up at Michigan’s tallest kaleidoscope to watch the changing patterns, colors and photograph images. Then they can tour the Silver Beach Amusement Park Museum and see how the still popular beach entertained millions from 1891 to 1971. Both venues are free of charge.