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75th Swift River Valley/Quabbin Remembrance Ball on April 27

The Friends of Quabbin will sponsor a couple of significant events during 2013 to commemorate the sacrifices of the more than 2,500 Swift River Valley residents who gave up their homes and their way of life to make way for the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir, the principle viable and sustained water supply for the city of Boston and other communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

There will be a 75th Remembrance Ball held in the Ware Town Hall on April 27. The Friends are excited about this location for its nostaglic value and similarity to the Enfield Town Hall where the Farewell Ball was held on April 27, 1938. The four towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott were officially disincorporated on April 28, 1938.

Many of the attendees of the 75th Remembrance Ball will wear period costumes from the 1930s to replicate the events of April 27, 1938. A bass and keyboard duo will start off the evening’s social hour beginning at 7 p.m. by playing music from the 1920s through the early 1940s. After the Grand March, which will include former residents of the Swift River Valley, the Heritage Pops Orchestra will perform music from the 1940s to the present day. A large dance floor will be established and it may even have some attendees dancing to Ragtime and Swing.

There will be an ongoing slide show which will provide the attendees a look back into the history of the former towns, villages and hamlets. This glimpse back into the past will showcase an irreplaceable moment in time. The photo show will include pictures of the construction of the reservoir from the initial razing of homes and clearing of land to the building of the Winsor Dam, the spillway, Goodnough Dike, the aqueduct and Quabbin Park. In addition, there will be some additional static displays of artifacts and historical posters.

Tickets for the 75th Remembrance Ball will be available at the Quabbin Visitors Center, 485 Ware Road, Belchertown, and via the mail. Mailing address: Quabbin Reservation Administration Building, 75th Remembrance Ball, 485 Ware Road, Belchertown, MA 01007. The Remembrance Ball ticket request form and process for requesting tickets is available on the Friends of Quabbin website: www.foquabbin.org. Ticket request forms will be available at the Ware Town Hall (town clerk) and at the Ware Senior Center. The price of tickets is $25 per person and the price includes a mixture of appetizers, coffee, tea, dessert, cash bar (beer and wine) and complimentary champagne and sparkling water for the goodbye toast at the end of the evening.

Friends of Quabbin are hoping to have as special guests “former residents” of the four towns. Friends of Quabbin will make every attempt to assist those former residents of the lost towns logistically so they may be in attendance at the Remembrance Ball. Former residents of the lost towns are asked to contact either the Quabbin Visitors Center (address above) or the Friends of Quabbin Inc., President Gene Theroux, P.O. Box 856, Southwick, MA 01077-0856 or email: gtheroux@gmail.com.

In addition, Friends of Quabbin will sponsor four performances of the play, “Quabbin, A Musical.” Originally done in November 1988, Friends will keep tradition alive by running same on Nov. 7, 2013; another evening performance on Nov. 8 and 9. A matinee on Nov. 10 will close the run. The Ware Community Theatre will be an integral part of this production.

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