Monday, April 18, 2011

Do you Remember?

Forty years ago yesterday - on April 17th, 1971 - a particularly memorable event took place: "The Centennial Ball" was held in the "old" high school - now the Stafford Avenue Apartment building.

The Waterville Times, April 22, 1971

"Another page was added to Waterville's history Saturday night as some 500 persons attended the Centennial Ball, celebrating the date of incorporation of the village.
Sponsored by the Waterville Centennial Inc., the Ball took place in the Waterville Central School.
Both gymnasiums were decorated for the occasion with hundreds of crepe paper streamers forming canopied ceilings & drapes. Enormous "picture" panels of over-sized paper flowers lined the lower walls; lengths of Victorian "wallpaper" with a hop vine motif bordered the f r o n t of the spectators' gallery and sections of wainscoating; scarlet and gold signs reading "100" hung on basket- ball backboards, and potted palms around the edge of the dance floor lent a further Victorian touch to the Ballroom.
In the smaller of the two gymnasiums, a wall of mirrors reflected images of the dancers, most of whom were dressed in Victorian attire."

Charles and Mary McLean, honorary chairpersons of the Centennial Celebration, led the grand promenade.

Here, they switched partners with the Centennial Committee co-chairmen, Beverly and Stuart Allen.

The McLeans greeted guests and watched as couples waltzed to music by Spiegle Wilcoxx and his band. (I remember that Mr. And Mrs. Richard Woodman won first place in the Waltz contest.)

The Centennial Ball was just the first of many Centennial activities, most of them taking place throughout an entire week in mid-August. They included a performance of the famous melodrama, East Lynn, various contests in beard-growing, pie-eating, and greased-pole climbing and culminated with a parade which lasted nearly two hours and drew (by traffic count) 10,000 viewers.

Proceeds from the Celebration came to something over $1,200.00, and that sum, by vote of the Committee, was given to the Historical Society for the purpose of microfilming all existing copies of The Waterville Times.

The practice of microfilming each years' issues is continued by the Historical Society, and the microfilms have now been digitized and can be searched and viewed - along with many other historical writings and digitized photographs - at the Waterville Public Library.

Thinking ahead: What activities will take place ten years from now to mark the Village's Sesquicentennial?


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