Lafayette Ball, Feb. 9

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 1, 2008

MURFREESBORO – No one will find Major General Marquis de Lafayette at an event scheduled in his honor here Feb. 9.

But then again, he missed the original gala ball planned for the famous French General during his stopover in Murfreesboro 183 years ago.

The biennial Lafayette Ball is on tap for Saturday, Feb. 9 at the J.M. Jenkins Center in Murfreesboro. The event is scheduled every two years to benefit the Murfreesboro Historical Association.

Pre-ball parties begin at 6 p.m. followed by the Lafayette Ball at 8 p.m.

The “black-tie” event, which ends at midnight, gives everyone a chance to dress in their formal attire, socialize, eat, dance and simply enjoy a fun-filled evening.

Music will be provided by “The Showmen.” Formed in 1955 in Norfolk, the band is well-known for their beach classic “39-21-40 Shape” and their most recent recordings of “Sweet Beach Music” and “Shagging the Night Away.”

A limited number of advance tickets are now available by contacting the Murfreesboro Historical Association at (252) 398-5922.

Major General Marquis de Lafayette was a Frenchman that befriended America in their fight for freedom against England during the Revolutionary War. He held a special place in the hearts of all Americans, especially to those he reached out to during his 1825 tour of the United States.

Listed among his stops of the fledging young country was Murfreesboro. The town made plans to greet the General as they scheduled a reception, banquet and ball. However, General Lafayette’s carriage became stuck in the mud en route to the town and he was only able to make an appearance at the banquet.

In 1973, Murfreesboro Historical Association members decided to revive the ball as a fundraiser to its organization. It was held every two years until its sudden demise in 1991. It was revived again in 2004.