LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer Dancing in the Streets

Since its completion in 1881, the Transylvania County Courthouse has stood guard over Main Street in the center of Brevard. It has seen quite a lot of sights during those 128 years.

Every Tuesday night during July and August, the Courthouse enjoys standing guard over the "Old Time Street Dances." One of the great joys of life in a small town is that we will close off a street for a party at the drop of a hat. So every Tuesday in July and August, Main Street is closed right smack dab in the middle of town.
[Late note: My eagle-eyed bird watching daughter clicked on the photograph and determined the black spots over the Courthouse to be swifts! That woman doesn't miss a thing! She didn't miss anything as a child, either.]


The street closes around 6:15 when "rush hour" is over. People bring lawn chairs and use the street benches to get ready for the dancing to start at 6:30.

Typically the children are the first to venture out. Here they "wind up that ball of twine."



Soon the older generation pairs up and the fun really begins.








The band is playing in the gazebo near the Courthouse. Various bands are featured throughout the summer and all of them are really good. The "callers" are excellent, and volunteer staff are ready to help anyone learn the square dance moves. Here the adults are "winding up that ball of twine." [NOTE: The picture is straight. In the mountains even the downtown streets are hilly.]






This little girl was not so sure how she felt about the music. Tuesday dancing-in-the-street is a family affair and lots of young couples bring their children and grandparents bring their grandchildren.








Even in public places, I never take a picture of a child without the parent's permission. When I asked if I could photograph this little cutie with her ice cream cone, she look at me defiantly and stomped her little foot, yelling, "NO!" Her parents said otherwise, so I walked around and later caught her unawares. (I didn't want her to think I would invade her privacy.)







Dusk appears over the gazebo with its white squirrel weathervane. The dancing continues until 9:30. The last street dance in August signals the end of summer. The children will return to school and Main Street will be open on Tuesday evenings...well, until the next festival.


The joyous and uninhibited street dancing brings to mind one of my favorite sayings. I searched for the author, but I found so many people credited, I'm going to call it "Author unknown."
Work like you don't need the money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one is watching.

24 comments:

The Bug said...

What fun! I went to Mars Hill College, which had a competitive cloggin team. I had a number of friends on the team & I SO wanted to join them. But I am without rhythm - totally. Not even able to square dance credibly. So I just sat in the wings & wrote poetry about them...

Rudee said...

What a fun town. You don't need money when your town gets together like this, do you?

When we were walking to town for dinner last week, we passed a parking lot full of kids and their parents. A giant inflatable movie screen was up and a Disney movie was playing. This was in the middle of downtown on a Thursday night. I remember thinking what great memories those kids would have of attending community events like that.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

The slower, more relaxed pace of a small town is so appealing.

robin andrea said...

That's great. Love seeing all those people dancing in the street.

Tina said...

A quaint but neat tradition in your little town. A nice way to see the neighbors and chat and enjoy some music and dancing..very appealing, indeed!!

Cicero Sings said...

What a fun kind of celebration!

The Birdlady said...

They really are, aren't they? Maybe they just went to see "Woodstock"!

Barb said...

A great festival experience to bring the generation together. Wonderful, small town vibe.

George said...

How wonderful! It looks as if there is a large turnout for the dances. I honestly think living in (or near) a small town is the best possible life!

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is so wonderful. I am envious...I would love this part of living in a small town!

Cheryl said...

I love that quote......I must remember not be self conscious when I dance...

A delightful post full of charm....sounds like a wonderful idea to me......and a great way of getting to know everyone.....

BTH I love to dance so would fit in perfectly.......

KB said...

What a great description of a town tradition!

My small town's tradition is 'Frozen Dead Guy's Day'. Perhaps you've heard one of the yearly NPR stories about it?

I thought of your previous post yesterday when walking near our university. It was the 2nd day of classes but a father was still in town walking his son down the street. I overheard them arguing about why the son a skipped a certain class that day. As I eavesdropped, I thought about that father of the fledgling and believed that the human father could've learned a thing or two from him.

caboval said...

Oh what a fun town you have! I like dancin in the streets!! Hugs Joey and Kealani

pat said...

sigh.....my kind of town!

The Thundering Herd said...

I so love living in our mountains and experiencing all of the small town fun. Street dances in Waynesville are Friday nights (though, frankly, a little aimed at the tourist crowds). Lots of fun though.

Bird Girl said...

That was a fun post and I do remember dancing in the streets in my hometown when I was a kid and I LOVED it! You captured the essence of the day and I enjoyed your pictures as well as your commentary!
That baby was adorable!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh how neat, Carolyn.. I love small town festivals like that... Street dancing must be SO much fun. Thanks so much for sharing with us the life in Brevard, NC. What a wonderful place where you live!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

Coffee with Cathy said...

Oh how lovely. Thank you so much for letting us visit your town and go to the street party with you. But I have to say that y'all are lucky -- not every small town has the sense to let folks enjoy themselves like this. Good for you.

dAwN said...

What a fun and joyous thing to do!

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

This looks like fun! What a great tradition for you guys!

Mary said...

The white squirrel cracks me up!

Twisted Fencepost said...

I KNOW that was fun.
I'm curious to know if you got in on the dancing in the streets?
I know I would have. I miss my small town back in WV. They have festivals twice a year and they close down the street for dancing, too.
My Dad was on the committee to get that ball rolling.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Carolyn...I love these kind of things! I think only in the mountains do they do this! I'm jealous that you get to enjoy this!
I can help you out on the quote.
It comes from the song by Kathy Mattea called " Comes From The Heart" and was written by Nashville songwriters Susanna Clark and Richard Leigh.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks everyone.

Rudee - You're so right. An entire evening of great fun for free. And there are no food vendors other than the ice cream truck.

Tina - It IS a nice way to meet your neighbors. People seem to do as much talking as dancing.

Helen - Yep. There are sorts of dancing "skills" in the group.

KB - Oh, yes, I have heard of Bredo, never sure of what's truth and what's legend. And your "Frozen Dead Guy Festival" is well know even in our part of the country. I must say, it does appeal to my ghoulish nature.

Herd - Although the tourists who stay downtown are excited about the dances, they really attract mostly the locals, perhaps because they are held on Tuesday nights.

Barb - I even saw a man dancing while using his cane.