By Stuart Fullarton
Music and dance lovers from across Western Canada are counting down the days until the next ’50s and ’60s dance jamboree, set to return to Eckville Aug. 23 and 24.
This year’s event will follow the same format as last year’s, which was downsized and held in a new venue. Previously, it had been held at the arena, where it was attended by about 1,200 to 1,400 people annually. Last year, it was moved to the community centre for a smaller crowd of 400.
Organizer Jerry Litz felt the more intimate atmosphere worked well for the event, and hopes this year’s will provide the same enjoyment.
“Our intent is to have a little fun. We’re not trying to make money off it,” he said. “If we can pay our bills, we’re happy.”
The amount of work required in putting it on at the arena, as well as the advancing age of organizing committee members, almost caused Litz to lower the curtain on the wildly popular event last year.
After some thought, however, he decided to give it another go at a smaller venue.
With a lighter workload as a result, organizing the event has become more enjoyable, and certainly more manageable, for those involved.
“By cutting it down to that number from the arena, we sure saved ourselves a pile of work, and that’s kind of the reason we did it,” he said. “The workload was starting to get too much, and we’re getting old. ‘Can do’ can’t keep up with the ‘want to’ anymore.”
At press time, nine bands had been lined up. That number could increase further, however, as another recently expressed an interest in playing.
Dancing will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, and run until 11 p.m., with a supper break between 5:30 and 7 p.m.
Sunday will begin with a gospel session from 10 a.m. until noon. A one-hour break will then precede an open mic session and more dancing from 1 to 3 p.m.
Litz said the open mic proved one of the more popular events last year, and he’s excited to see it return.
“There’s a lot of talent out there that a person doesn’t know about unless sometimes they get a little nerve and they want to try something, and that really worked out very well last year.”
Weekend passes are priced at $20.
More information is available by calling Litz at 403-729-2290.