Springfield Area Public Access Television will broadcast the premiere of the historical documentary “Apple Blossom Cotillion: A Springfield Tradition” on Saturday May 6 at 7 PM.
This full-length film tells the story of how the Apple Blossom Cotillion was created and has endured as a constant in the life of Springfield, Vermont for more than sixty years, despite the many societal and cultural changes in both the town and the nation. With its elements of elegant pageant and popular entertainment, the Cotillion has consistently presented a unique opportunity to showcase young people and connect the community.
Directed and edited by independent videographer, Cindy Putorti, the film includes clips from the Cotillion’s 50th and 60th anniversary productions as well as interviews with judges, directors, and past queens. It also includes local historical material provided by the Springfield Art and Historical Society.
The Apple Blossom Cotillion began in 1957 as a debutante ball by members of the Springfield Hospital Auxiliary, who were predominantly the wives of local business leaders. The Auxiliary was an independent nonprofit organization that produced the event for more than forty years, each year making a gift to the hospital from its proceeds. The event has been presented by Springfield Hospital since 2000.
Over the years, the performances of the young people have become the focal point of the event, as the music became more contemporary, and elementary school children became a popular addition to the show. However, the formal presentations of high school senior girls and their escorts, including their traditional curtsy and bow, continued to result in the crowning of another Apple Blossom Queen. Among its many regional and national recognitions, the event was featured in Yankee Magazine.
The film will be introduced on SAPA TV by Larry Kraft, who was the emcee of the Apple Blossom for twenty years. After its showing, he will also host a live question and answer session with the director of the documentary.
Following this premiere broadcast, the video and accompanying live sessions will be available on SAPA TV’s website along with its current library of the past twenty Apple Blossom Cotillions.