☼ ☼ ☼ CANCELED: Peterborough First Saturday Contra Dance

Tonight’s dance at the Peterborough NH Town Hall is canceled. The National Weather Service has upgraded their forecast to a Winter Storm Warning, and as they say: A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow. sleet, and ice are expected or occurring. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

Please stay safe wherever you are and we’ll see you on Saturday February 7th for a great dance with Luke Donforth calling and the band Shindy: Randy Miller, Julie Vallimont, Roger Kahle and Jim DiCarlo.

Come early on Feb. 7th to hear Randy Miller’s presentation about John Taggert, fiddler, and his stories of dances in the Monadnock region during the 1800s and 1900s. 5:30 PM at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture, 19 Grove Street next to the Peterborough Town Hall.

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on January 3rd, featuring Steve Zakon-Anderson calling with “The Agnostic Fiddle Insurgency.”

Dance caller Steve Zakon-Anderson has been leading contra dances for over 25 years. He has performed at dance camps and festivals from Alaska to Florida. Steve’s clear teaching, precise calling and sense of humor have made him a favorite of dancers of all ages and abilities.

The Agnostic Fiddle Insurgency is a triple fiddle contra dance band consisting of Julie Metcalf, Cedar Stanistreet, and Edward Wallace on fiddles with Max Newman on guitar and mandolin. They are known for their high drive and lush harmonies for contra dances.

The dancing begins at 8:00 PM, with an optional introductory workshop beforehand. Admission is $10 or $7 for students and seniors.

The dance takes place in the historic Town House in Peterborough, NH at 1 Grove Street. For more information call 603.762.0235 or visit www.monadnockfolk.org. The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

☼ ☼ ☼ Christmas Night Dance | Nelson Town Hall

It’s the 17th annual Christmas Night dance at the Nelson Town Hall. Festivities begin at 8:00 pm. We’ll stop dancing early because there will be a dessert potluck afterwards so bring treats. Admission is free — the Monadnock Folklore Society sponsors this dance as a gift to the community.

Once upon a time, in the town of Nelson, a wonderful tradition was born.

Some years ago or so, the callers and dancers at a Monday Nite Contra Dance
realized that Christmas was going to fall on a Monday that year. Imagine
the dilemma! Nelson has always held a public contra dance on Monday nights.
If they were to skip Christmas, then the world record would end. Not
wishing to jeopardize the record, and wishing to see good friends and family
again, the tradition began!

It’s a Christmas night dance. It starts at the usual 8pm time. This year
Gordon Peery will be on piano and we’ll shed a tear for Bob McQuillen. Amy Cann will be on fiddle and if we’re lucky, Avi Fagen will bring his vibraphone. It’s always a good night!

One year we had three feet of snow. But Bob McQuillen drove up for the
dance, Don Primrose showed up to call and there was a family visiting from
New York that wanted to dance on Christmas Day. We couldn’t get into the
hall because of the snow, so we moved the furniture from our living room and
Bob played his accordion. That night was my favorite of all the Christmas

This story about one of Nelson’s traditions was submitted by Val Van Meier.