Having a (masquerade) ball

City native plans masked event for Pajama Factory

PHOTO PROVIDED Williamsport native Carey Chisolm, who performs as Van ChiSO, who will perform at The Masquerade Ball on Oct. 29 at the Pajama Factory.

It’s the perfect time of year for masks and costumes, and in the spirit of the season, Williamsport native Carey Chisolm has prepared a masquerade for the city.

The Masquerade Ball, set for 8 p.m. to midnight Oct. 29 at the Pajama Factory, 1307 Park Ave., promises to be an eventful night with music, live performances and costumes required, Chisolm said.

“It’s going to be a sold-out event,” he said.

A city native, Chisolm — who will be one of the performers at the ball — graduated from Williamsport Area High School in 2006 and enlisted in the Navy shortly after, a career path that didn’t necessarily hinder his lifelong love of music and singing.

“I’ve always been singing. My mom has been a choir director all around the city, so I grew up with it,” he said. “In the Navy, I was the go-to guy for the National Anthem whenever it was performed at an event. While I was stationed in Japan, I got to open for the rapper Fabolous. I felt like it was meant for me to be in the music industry.”

After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Chisolm traveled from Seattle to Florida, where he enrolled in Full Sail University, a school that specializes in areas like video and film production and sound engineering. While he was earning dual degrees in business and sports management, he opened for artists like Future, Meek Mill, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled.

Those appearances led to “a lot of industry connections” for Chisolm — who performs under the name Van ChiSO — which helped him put together the upcoming event.

Performers will include Chisolm and Florida-based artist Diiamond Royalty and music from DJ Nellz The Party Starter. Venetian-style masks and costumes — think Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut,” according to Chisolm — are highly encouraged, and dress is formal — no jeans, t-shirts or sneakers allowed.

It will be the second entertainment event Chisolm has organized in Williamsport; the first was a concert at Pennsylvania College of Technology in 2014 featuring several artists. The idea for this one, he said, came about after doing a little homework.

“I’m big on analytics, and I did some research on the Williamsport and found out that a huge portion of income is spent on entertainment,” he said. “But there’s a lot of places and venues that have been open for so long that people are looking for something new. It’s around Halloween, so I thought this was a great opportunity.”

Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com or at Way Cool Beans coffee shop at the Pajama Factory.