The Batchelors Cotillon in Baltimore

December 4, 2008

The Bachelors Cotillon in Baltimore takes place traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving. Begun in the mid 1790s, the Members of the Cotillon presented their daughters at an evening ball at various venues over the years, the most notable of which, and for the most past century, was at the Baltimore Lyric Opera House (commencing in 1894).

Each debutante received a number of bouquets for the occasion which are then all transported to the Lyric and adorned over the sides of each opera box of the young lady in a spectacular cascading array of floral splendor. Today most of these traditions are continued, though the venue has shifted to the large ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel, where specially constructed boxes are made to replicate those of the Lyric House.

The venue change was necessary when the Lyric was remodeled in the early 1980s, and the removable seats of the orchestra over the old original ballroom floor were replaced with stronger, safer permanent seats, forever precluding any further ballroom dancing from that time on.

As one florist commented, “Baltimore’s Cotillon is truly unique.” I’ve never seen so many flowers.” This bouquet was created by Betty Davis.

Baltimore's Batchelors Cotillon

Bouquet by Betty Davis


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