This is the second year the folk society will host a public square dance. Last year about hundred people danced on Cherry Lane in York, but now the society is hoping the new location in downtown will draw more participants. A portion of Beaver Street will be shut down for the event between Market and Philadelphia streets.
"We thought we would draw people if we did it on the main street," said Jess Hayden, executive director of the Susquehanna Folk Music Society. "We want it accessible to anyone passing."
The event welcomes dancers of all ages and skill levels. The Contra Rebels, a local dance band, will be playing upbeat and energetic New England, French
Canadian and Celtic tunes for the dancers.
Bob Nicholson, an experienced square dance caller from Syracuse, New York, will be helping people keep up with the movements.
The folk society consists of 400 members, and was recently awarded with grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Hayden said that the money has helped fund events like craft classes, concerts and the community square dance. She believes folk music and square dancing is important to America's history.
"I think it's communal. You're able to enjoy it with other people," Hayden said. "There is a very long tradition of square dancing in this country."
IF YOU GO
First Friday is a monthly event in downtown York, during which downtown merchants hold extended hours, host special events and offer discounts. This month's theme is "Festival of Cultures." Read more at downtownyorkpa.com/first-Fridays.
Other First Fridays
Lancaster also holds a First Friday event from 5 to 9 p.m. Thousands celebrate the arts in Lancaster every First Friday without exception, and it's the highlight of the month, as noted by Lancaster Arts. For a navigational guide and where you can go for Lancaster's monthly event, visit www.lancasterarts.com.
Over in Chambersburg, as spin-off from A Taste of the Arts, visitors can stroll the streets of downtown Chambersburg the First Friday of every month. Enjoy in-store specials, refreshments, artists, kids activities and musical entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m., with this months theme as "International."