A time honored tradition in Springfield today, the Apple Blossom Cotillion began in 1957 under the leadership of Harriet Lindley, Past President of the Hospital Auxiliary and Chairman of its Ways & Means Committee. That first year, seven high school senior girl finalists, all dressed in white gowns, competed for the title of Queen. Introduced by local businessmen, the young women had attended a formal tea and participated in interviews with the judges. Judges were all volunteers from the local Chamber of Commerce. Final judging took place with the performance of the Cotillion dance on May 9th. Joan Ryan of Springfield was selected as Queen. May 9, 1957 was an exciting evening for those in attendance as they danced to the music of the New Glenn Miller Band under the direction of Ray McKinley. Thus was born an event that still fills the Riverside School Gymnasium on the first weekend in May, 60 years later. Photo: Joan Ryan, Queen of the 1957 Apple Blossom Ball, and her court