Put on your dancing shoes, and bring the kids!

The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown will celebrate ten years of promoting, preserving and presenting local history with a square dance and ice cream social on Sunday, July 19 at its hall located at 778 Cemetery Road, Margaretville.

John Jacobson, fiddler and caller, will lead the Tremperskill Boys in an afternoon of Catskills traditional music.  Doors open at Noon, the dance starts at 1 p.m., and ice cream and cake will be served at intermission. Admission is $10; children 15 and under are free.

No dancing experience is necessary to participate in this family friendly event, which is in keeping with community dances, picnics and parties held over many decades by the Izaak Walton League and later by the New Kingston Valley Grange, former occupants of the HSM hall.

Ginny Scheer, director of Catskills Folk Connection, will offer the folk and historical context of square dancing in the Catskills and will guide dancers on the floor. Beginners are welcome; dances of interest to veteran dancers will also be called. 

Square dancing is about community, so come enjoy dancing with your neighbors and make new friends, too. But if you don’t feel like dancing, just come listen to the music, with its origins in Irish and Scottish traditions. Bring a picnic to enjoy by the pond! An exhibit of items from HSM’s collection of artifacts and memorabilia is also on display at the hall for the summer.