Plans for a costume ball to benefit a Texas museum featuring a Civil War exhibit have drawn criticism and comparisons to a slaver's plantation party.
About 50 residents signed a petition asking the nonprofit Williamson Museum to reconsider the theme of the Old South Ball, the Austin American-Statesman reported Sunday.
The ball is scheduled Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown.
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"We are not promoting slavery. We are not even promoting war," said Mickie Ross, museum executive director. "We are just telling the story of the people who lived here during the Civil War. This is not a Tara 'Gone with the Wind' event; it's a very simple dance."
A group called Positive Change for Georgetown sponsored the petition to change the theme.
"A grand Southern Ball with uniformed soldiers and ladies in grand antebellum dresses does not in any way accurately reflect the period or time in Williamson County," the petition says. "Back in the 1860s, a party would more likely have been a small dance in day clothes at someone's house. What is being created is a slaver's plantation ball with all the finery and trimmings and glory of the Deep South."
Tickets for the ball are $25 per person, or $40 per couple.