Apple Blossom Cotillion History
A time-honored tradition in Springfield, the Apple Blossom Cotillion began in 1957 under the leadership of Harriet Lindley, Past President of the Hospital Auxiliary and Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee. That first year, seven high school senior girls, all dressed in white gowns, competed for the title of Apple Blossom Queen. introduced by local businessmen, the young women had attended a formal tea and participated in interviews with the judges , who were volunteers from the local Chamber of Commerce. Final judging took place at the Cotillion dance on May 9, 1957.
Joan Ryan of Springfield was selected as Queen and the other six contestants made up her court. It 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. The evening was a financial and a social success. Thus was born an event that still fills the Riverside Middle School gymnasium on the first weekend in May.