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Deerfield's first pageant was held in 1910. The event was a striking success, for although there was seating for 950, one afternoon performance attracted more than 1,200 spectators. There were over 4,000 people who came to see all the performances. The performers were mainly townspeople, many dressed in heirloom costumes. The point of the pageant was to present a particular view of the past, to "bring home the romance of colonial life as no book could possibly do," were the words of a local newspaper. The success of the first pageant stimulated Deerfield to form its first Improvement Association. These were important milestones in the creation of Deerfield, Massachusetts, as a self-consciously historic place.