Eat, dance and be merry on the first day of 2010

After the celebrations of New Year’s Eve, what does one do on New Year’s Day?

Among the choices on the North Olympic Peninsula are eating, dancing and telling stories.

New Year’s Day activities include a free public feast at the First United Methodist Church in Port Angeles, a dinner and dance at the Port Angeles Senior Center and, later in the evening, story-telling at Better Living Through Coffee in Port Townsend.

The organizer of the special holiday Friendship Dinner expects about 100 people for the special holiday meal today.

Doors will open at the First United Methodist Church, 110 E. Seventh St., Port Angeles, at 3 p.m.

Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m.

Dinner dance

The Senior Swingers of Port Angeles will host the annual New Year’s Day dinner dance at the Port Angeles Senior Center today.

Dancing will begin at 2 p.m. at the center at 328 E. Seventh St., Port Angeles.

A potluck dinner is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Admission is free. A main dish will be provided. Guests are asked to bring a salad or dessert to share.

For more information, phone 360-457-7004.

Hearty meal

A hearty meal is planned, said Rosanna Yates-Bailey, coordinator.

On the menu is Hungarian goulash with spaetzle, a type of dumpling, as well as locally grown, roasted root vegetables.

Between the time the doors open and the beginning of the meal, volunteers will serve juice and hot drinks to those who come early.

“They visit in small groups,” Yates-Bailey said. “It’s a warm, safe place to be.”

All are invited.

“The original name, Friendship Dinner, was meant so that it was a social event as well as a nutritional assistance,” Yates-Bailey said.

About 90 people were served at a special Friendship Dinner on Christmas Day.

The church provides weekly Friendship Dinners, which are prepared on a rotating basis by different churches and service clubs, serving an average of 120 people each week.

About a dozen volunteers from the First United Methodist Church prepared the Christmas meal and will ready the New Year’s Day dinner.

The Friendship Dinner effort is supported financially by the Albert Haller Foundation, the federal emergency food and shelter program, and the city of Port Angeles, said Yates-Bailey, who did not have specific amounts at hand.

The group also receives individual donations, such as beef from Green Crow, donations from cooking teams, and from the Port Angeles Food Bank, she said.

For more information or to donate, phone Yates-Bailey at 360-452-8069.

Story night slated

Better Living Through Coffee will host Port Townsend storyteller and host Brian Rohr for “First Friday Storynight: A Night of Story and Song” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today.

The monthly event at the coffee shop at 100 Tyler St., Port Townsend, explores the art and ritual of the oral tradition: sharing the old myths, folk tales and fairy tales along with more modern stories and personal offerings.

Two to three local and visiting storytellers and musicians will be featured each month, and there will be time for audience members to share stories during an open mic period.

Rohr will be joined by Port Townsend resident Laurence Cole for the New Year’s Day event.

For more information, phone 360-531-2535.

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