TOWANDA - This year, Bradford County's bicentennial was celebrated with an event at the courthouse, a parade through Towanda, and other expressions of pride.

On Saturday night, it ended with a formal ball.

And what a night it was.

Nearly 400 people attended the Bradford County Historical Society's Bicentennial Ball for the county.

Dressed in elegant finery, they talked and mingled in the gym at JFK Hall in Towanda. Strings of white lights twinkled and delicate cloth was draped from the ceiling as the notes of harp music filled the air.

A slideshow of historical buildings and places in the county was projected onto a screen.

"We have come a long way," Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith said in a speech. Over the years, he said, the county has been a special and ideal place to live.

In his speech, Smith wrote that "our future is bright; our heritage is strong. This evening as we celebrate our 200 years, in this 2012 holiday season, let us be thankful, let us love one another, and let us build a better future for the next 200 years."

Lauren Hotaling, who headed the planning committee for the ball, said she thought the event was going well.

"I'm really pleased with how everything turned out," she said.

Bradford County Coroner Tom Carman, a Troy resident, said he thought the ball had a nice ambience.

"It's great to see everybody out and about," he said.

The planning committee was recognized and presented with flowers for their hard work in organizing the ball. Those honored were Hotaling, Sue McClary, Michelle Shedden, Jane Clements, and Mary Neiley.

In addition, Chesapeake Energy was honored by the historical society with a Lifetime Corporate Membership "in recognition of their dedication to the preservation of local history through their continuous support and charitable contributions to our organization."

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: