Cranberry Islanders and visitors of all ages enjoy the first contra dance at the Longfellow School in 40 years, held July 20. PHOTO COURTESY OF DARLENE SUMNER

Historical society hosts contra dance

CRANBERRY ISLES — History repeated itself on July 20 as the Great Cranberry Island Historical Society hosted the first contra dance held in 40 years at the Longfellow School.

The school reopened in 2016 after an extensive renovation and the new gym floor and large space provided the perfect setting for the enthusiastic dancers of all ages.

Ten members of the Big Moose Band made the trek by boat to play at the dance. Band leader Ruth Grierson, 90, also played at the last dance in 1978 with Ralph Stanley and his Country Strummers.

Caller Mike Fay taught the dances so everyone, even the children, could join in.

The Great Cranberry Island events committee provided refreshments and decorated the gym with white Christmas lights. Committee member Beverly Sanborn remembered attending the last dance in 1978. This time, she was with her grandchildren.

All agreed that the community shouldn’t let another 40 years pass before the next dance. Next summer, or sooner, was preferred.



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