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Contra Dance with the Merry McKentys

Join us and the Young Agrarians for a lively evening of old-time tunes and dancing with the Merry McKentys! If you've never contra danced before, don't worry - you'll learn everything you need to know from the dance caller. Come enjoy a farm pizza from our Friday Farm Stand and dance the night away!




Contra dancing is a fun, energetic form of traditional dancing that has been around for a few centuries at least. It is usually done in lines (and sometimes in circles), and is often likened to square dancing without the squares. There is no fancy footwork required, and a complete newcomer can be dancing along in a matter of minutes with the help of the dance caller, who gives instructions as the dance goes along.


Once upon a time on a steep snowy mountainside in the backwoods of British Columbia, there was a small cabin. In the cabin were two parents, many children of various sizes, a wood stove, a small battery-powered stereo system that sometimes worked, a mandolin, and several fiddles. Enthusiastic musical squeaks filled the air.

Eventually the cabin and the backwoods both started seeming a bit cramped and the family moved west (nope, no covered wagons) and took up residence on Cortes Island. The squeaks evolved into fiddle tunes, the children became variously sized adults, a guitar, accordion, and keyboard arrived on the scene, and pretty soon The Merry McKentys were playing for local dances and busking on the streets of nearby towns.

Since then they have toured up and down the Salish Sea on a large wooden sailboat and traveled to Europe, bringing their unique and joyful brand of traditional music and contra dancing to enthusiastic audiences in France, Italy, Germany and the UK.

Earlier Event: August 17
Farm Stand & Farm Kitchen Open
Later Event: August 19
Summer Dinner with FAYUCA