NEW YEAR'S — Fundraising dance to help Quimper Grange maintenance

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A family-friendly New Year's Eve dance will bring together the Susannah Gals, the Rose Street Ramblers and a pair of dance callers at the Quimper Grange, Port Townsend's well-worn dance hall.

The evening will start at 8 p.m. with Southern square dances, circle dances and mixers; Dave Thielk will do the calling. Then, from 10 p.m. till midnight, Nan Evans will step up to call the New England-style contra dances while the Rose Street Ramblers play.

Everyone, experienced or not, is welcome, said Thielk. At contra dances this year, he's seen more 20-somethings showing up and joining in, along with parents and their kids.

“Everything is taught from the very beginning,” he added. “We get you moving right away.”

This is the third annual New Year's Eve party at the Quimper Grange, and while contributions are requested for upkeep of the hall, no one will be turned away.

“Drop in for a minute, or stay and dance the night away,” Thielk said. The suggested donation for the New Year's Eve festivities is $12, but contributions of any size are appreciated, he added.

With Port Townsend's First Night celebration in progress downtown from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m. (see jchsmuseum.org), the Quimper Grange dance will be a kind of outpost for revelers. And at the stroke of midnight, everyone can make a toast of sparkling cider and sing “Auld Lang Syne” if so inclined. While some holiday treats will be provided, dancers are also welcome to bring food and beverages to share. For more details, phone Thielk at 360-385-3308.

“We're just trying to raise some money; we have so much maintenance to do,” he said of the venue.

The grange, at the end of Sheridan Street at 1219 Corona St., provides space for community classes and dances year round, Thielk noted. “On any given Saturday night there is bound to be a lively dance going on: a square dance, zydeco, contra dance or tango.

“All that dancing takes a toll on the old floor,” and it's had to be refinished twice in the past four years. The grange hall has also had a new roof put on, a new projection screen, energy-efficient window covers and a heating system upgrade.

So Monday night's square- and contra-dancing, Thielk predicts, will warm up the hall and the people for a brand-new year.

“Once you get in,” he said, “you can't stop laughing.”

Last modified: December 27. 2012 10:27PM
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