BAR HARBOR — The annual Hayseed Ball, the longest-running event of its kind still being held in Downeast Maine, is slated for Friday, March 1 at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel on Eden Street in Bar Harbor. The Shane Ellis Band will perform. The dance runs from 8 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. with a Grand March at 8:30 p.m.
The dance is fully organized and funded by “The 40 Hayseeders,” a group that formed in 1894. At that time, area residents were not invited to the fancy parties, dinners and dances held all summer long by wealthy “cottagers.” Many towns and villages held “spoof” events during the winter months. Only year-rounders were invited.
Rather than dressing to the “nines,” serving top shelf food and drink, and importing musicians from Boston and New York, Waybackers, as they came to be known, encouraged attendees to dress up like farmers and hicks. Signs were deliberately misspelled. The only food served at the dance is plain doughnuts, sharp cheese, and salted cod fish.
There is no open admission at the door. To get tickets, those who might be interested must contact one of the 40 Hayseeders directly: Tommy Allen, Art Blank, Steve Boucher, Earl Brechlin, Jon Carter, Richard Cleary, James W. Collier, John Collier, Robert Collier, Bob Davis, Jeff Dobbs, Shaun Farrar, Richard Fox, Michael Gurtler, Sean Hall, Dale Harding, Robert Higgins, Rob Jordan, Terrance Kelley, Seth Libby, Joel Linscott, Jeff Miller, Edward Monat, John Mountford, Robert Packie, Joe Pagan, Paul Paradis, Rob Pollien, Steve Powell, Roger Samuels, Allen Sawyer, Charlie Sidman, Ken Smith, Tim Smith, Les Spurling, Mike Staggs, Bill Townsend, Chris White and Gus Young.
For further information email BarHarborHayseeders@gmail.com.