"No-Show" Miners Ball!
Enjoy the Miners Ball from the comfort of your own home with no formalwear required -- and win $1,000 cash while supporting The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums! Each ticket holder ($50/ticket) is entered in a raffle for valuable prizes with an estimated one in 10 chance of winning:
Grand Prize: $1,000 Cash
Second Prize: $100 Cash
Third Prize: $50 Cash
4th-20th Prize: Gift Certificates and Merchandise Valued at $50 or More
The Friends of the Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums present carry on the tradition of this classic Platteville dance celebration started by engineering students in the 1930s — except this year you can enjoy it while practicing social distancing.
This formal event for couples of all ages invites everyone passionate about the history of Platteville to dress up, to enjoy a great dinner, and to swing to the music of a Big Band orchestra— just like generations of young engineers in training did starting back in 1926. This second annual expression of Platteville pride is a fundraiser for The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums, presented by the Friends of The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums and the UW-Platteville. Find an album of photos from the 2019 Miners Ball on Facebook. Keep reading below or register now.
Unlike the Miners Ball of the early 20th century, all community members are invited! Described by some couples as a prom for grown-ups, the Miners Ball is a contemporary expression of a longstanding Platteville tradition. This year’s musical guest will be the full Ken Kilian Classic Big Band. This premier flagship band delivers the fullness and swinging sound of the Big Band era with five saxophones, six brass, full rhythm section and a featured vocalist.
Before the merger of Platteville’s mining school and teachers college, dances were an important part of extracurricular life each spring, and the Miners Ball — or M-Ball as some called them — became the annual night to enjoy some of Chicago’s best dance bands with stars like Lawrence Welk and Perry Como. The Miners Ball was so big that, after World War II, it was the night the giant “M” would be illuminated with torches, after having been whitewashed on the Thursday before. Tickets could be very difficult to come by, and fun-loving engineering students would outdo one another over the generations with designs for ever-more elaborate crystal or mirrored balls to ornament the hall. Last year, many couples had their pictures taken with one of these very balls!
“It is such an honor that our community has revived this legendary Platteville gala for the benefit of The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums,” said Museum Director Erik Flesch. “It is a wonderful celebration of culture and history intersecting that supports a good cause.” The Friends of the Museums reintroduced the Miners Ball in 2019 to raise much-needed funds by drawing attention to the deep connections between the mission of the Museums and the historic roots of Platteville and the university.
The mission of the Museums is to continue in the pursuit of excellence in the areas of regional and mining history. Although the university phased out the mining engineering program in the late 1980s, the industry that brought Platteville the “M” remains a nostalgic part of Platteville’s identity. Displays at the Miners Ball will crystallize some of the connections between the Museums and the region’s mining legacy.
Save the Date
Date: September 17, 2021
Time: 5 P.M.
Cost: $50 Dinner and Dance | $10 Dance Only
Thank You, 2020 Miners Ball Sponsors!
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Tiered benefits include public recognition in various media, event tickets, exhibit space at the event, and the opportunity to lead the Grand March. Review the sponsor deck for details or call Museum Director Erik Flesch at (608) 348-3301.
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The Museums are closed for the tour season. Cultural programs and special events are offered year-round, go to our Events page for more information. The Museum will open for tours in May 2021.
In Season: May - October | Tuesday-Saturday | 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Off Season: November - April | Closed