By Lauren Ressler –
Happy birthday to you, Millersville.
Over 100 community members were present at Millersville University’s Pucillo gym Saturday for the kick-off ‘Dancing Through the Decades’ event, celebrating the 250-year-old town of Millersville.
Guests arrived at the facility between 6 and 7 p.m., which had been transformed into a ballroom furnished with a stage, dance floor, dining tables and a disco ball. Many people were drawn to the display of period clothing pieces in the back of the room. The costumes represented different decades, created by Christina McSherry. Antique photos were also displayed
Guests flocked to a corner of the room around 6:45 p.m. when Mauro Castano, famous chef and cake designer from TLC’s Cake Boss, arrived to present an elaborate cake designed by Carlo’s Bake Shop. Castano posed with committee members and guests for pictures before taking the stage to give a heartfelt speech.
“I always tell people events like this make America what it is. It’s you guys,” said Castano.
Castano explained that the cake was “a little bit of the old and the new,” portraying a street scene of the town.
Scott Boyd of the House of Representatives took the stage to present a resolution passed by the House on February 26, recognizing Millersville’s 250th
“You don’t look a day over 195,” said Boyd, spreading smiles throughout the room.
Boyd also presented a framed replica of a map kept in the state archives of a birds-eye view of Millersville, drawn in 1895.
Other featured speakers included mayor Richard Moriarty and amicable anniversary co-chairs Steven DiGuiseppe and Mary Ann Gerber, both dressed in historic costumes.
While guests watched the unveiling of the cake and listened intently to speakers, dancers were preparing in the hallway.
Exhibition ballroom dancers Barbara Snyder, Ken Wilson, Deborah Paparo, and Leraunt VanLool said they rehearsed for forty grueling hours together before their performance at the event. The four dancers performed dances that reflected different time periods such as the waltz, charleston, quickstep, foxtrot, swing, hustle and rumba, complete with costumes and festive music.
“Those dresses are gorgeous!” said Penn Manor National Honors Society member Kaykey Gaukler. “Now when people go out they just wear tight pants and short shirts,” she said with a laugh.
A modern dance piece was performed by the Millersville University dance team to the pop song “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas. Between each dance, guests were invited onto the dance floor to try out their dancing shoes. From
the waltz to the “YMCA”, community members enjoyed dancing through the decades under the glittering disco ball.
After a large meal and cheerful dancing, guests crowded outside for a majestic display of fireworks.
“This is really, truly a community event,” said events co-chair Carol Reichler. “It’s a very proud moment for me.”
According to committee members, the event went smoothly and was entertaining for guests. This great kick-off event, leading the celebration of Millersville, could not have been possible without the many volunteers and the businesses that donated time and money to plan the anniversary events throughout the year.
In representative Scott Boyd’s words, “I love birthday parties.”