The Friends of The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums invite all to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit by attending the Miners Ball, which will take place Saturday, February 17, 2024.
This classic Platteville gala, which long ago followed the lighting of the “M” during University of Wisconsin-Platteville Homecoming, invites people of all ages to get dressed up, enjoy a great banquet, and swing to the music of a Big Band orchestra — just like generations of Platteville youth did starting back in 1926. This community celebration of our region’s rich history and culture has sparked renewed interest in swing and ballroom dancing among area couples, and the Ball has become a popular fundraiser for the Museum, presented by the nonprofit Friends of The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums and UW-Platteville.
Fondly described by some couples as a “grown-up prom,” the Miners Ball is a contemporary expression of what used to be the most exclusive annual party in Platteville. Before the merger of Platteville’s mining school and teachers college, dances were an important part of extracurricular life each year, and the Miners Ball — or M-Ball as some called it — became the annual night to enjoy some of Chicago’s best dance bands. Stars like Lawrence Welk and Perry Como headlined. The Miners Ball was so big that, after World War II, it was held the same night that 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.
Now it is an event for UW-Platteville alumni and area residents to reconnect and relive their university years while sharing the tradition with new students, Platteville residents, and anyone passionate about area history, arts, and culture.
“The legendary Platteville gala returns in time for Valentine’s Day, creating an opportunity to bring together a love of history with fun and a bit of romance,” said Museum Director Erik Flesch. “The Miners Ball is a wonderful celebration of pairing culture and place in support of a worthy 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 Museum, founded in 1965, and the historic roots of Platteville and the university — and quickly became the Museum’s most important fundraiser of the year.
February 17th, 2024
Velzy Commons in Ullsvik Hall
Order of Events
5 p.m. Social Hour
6 p.m. Elegant Dinner Buffet
7 p.m. Dance & Auction
$50 Dinner and Dance
$10 Dance Only
$500 Reserved Table for 8
Food and Beverage
Enjoy an elegant dinner buffet by UW-Platteville Catering. The menu details will be announced at a future date.
For food allergies or dietary restrictions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dinner will include complimentary coffee, iced tea, and water. For additional beverages, a cash bar will be available all evening.
The ongoing support and partnership of community members and local businesses helps the Museum to thrive. Tiered sponsorship benefits for the Miners Ball include public recognition in various media, event tickets, engraved wine glasses, and exhibit space at the event. To become a sponsor, mail a check indicating the desired sponsorship level to:
Friends of The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums
P.O. Box 780
Platteville, WI 53818
For more information, contact Museum Director Erik Flesch at (608) 348-3301.
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