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San Diego started 2013 in style and grace with a fantastic "Salute to Vienna" concert at Copley Symphony Hall. The Strauss Symphony of America performed elegant pieces that included waltzes, polkas, and Die Fladermaus while ballet dancers, ballroom dancers, and opera singers performed in the foreground.

Of equal note was "Lady Mari's Costumed Walkabout," which is a group of people who dress up in costume to add atmosphere to various events in San Diego. Around 30 people adorned in fancy Viennese ball, Victorian, steampunk, Venetian carnevale, and Renaissance costumes mingled with attendees.

The extremely ornate costumes harken back to a time when style usurped comfort; many of them are hand-made. Concert attendees enjoyed seeing the elegant costumes, and many people took pictures of the characters. The costumed walkers have become so popular that people reputedly call ahead to ask if they will be attending events.

Look for Lady Mari's Costumed Walkabout at a Grand Victorian Ball in Balboa Park on February 2 and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra performance at Copley Symphony Hall on March 29.

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