Plim­mer­ton – land of a thou­sand dances

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

It’s time to pol­ish up those mid­cen­tury dance moves for The Beach and the Ball fair in Plim­mer­ton – with ex­tra points for man­ag­ing The Twist, The Wa­tusi and The Mashed Potato in tight retro ball gowns and suits.

Beachside tea dances from the 1950s and 1960s will be cel­e­brated at the sec­ond an­nual Plim­mer­ton Prom­e­nades event, fol­low­ing the pre-1950s wed­ding dress re­vival last year.

‘‘Dances were a sig­nif­i­cant part of the Plim­mer­ton cul­ture. We thought ‘oh, we’ll make the theme The Beach and The Ball’,’’ says event or­gan­iser Stephanie Drew.

Back in the day, train­loads of plea­sure seek­ers would flock to the sea­side for af­ter­noon and evening dances in com­mu­nity halls, which would end by 11pm so vis­i­tors could catch trains home, Mrs Drew says.

‘‘It fo­cuses on what Plim­mer­ton was like back then, when peo­ple came to the beach for danc­ing and fun. We’re try­ing to recre­ate that feel.’’

Ball dresses and bathing cos­tumes from the fab­u­lous fifties and swing­ing six­ties will be on dis­play at the fair, and rev­ellers are en­cour­aged to dress to the nines to win spot prizes. The event has been moved from mid-year to April 6, for a bet­ter chance of good weather.

Games, rock’n’roll and brass band mu­sic, for­tune telling, a steam train and a pa­rade are among the dozens of ac­tiv­i­ties and dis­plays planned.

The event has grown, with more com­mu­nity groups on board and bet­ter or­gan­i­sa­tion, Mrs Drew says.

Last year’s Plim­mer­ton Prom­e­nades raised $3000 for the lo­cal fire bri­gade through gold coin do­na­tions to view the vin­tage dresses. This year Mrs Drew hopes to buy Plim­mer­ton a de­fib­ril­la­tor with the pro­ceeds.

The Beach and the Ball fair, Satur­day, April 6 from 10am till 4pm. If you have a dress you would like to lend for the fair, con­tact Stephanie Drew on 233 8087, Mar­garet Blair on 239 9642 or Jen­nifer Par­menter on 236 0100.

Beach belles: Porirua ac­tresses Jayda McIn­doe, 14, Ker­ryAnne But­ler, 25 , Ju­lia Fisher, 15, Beth Holzer, 16, and Me­gan Hall, 16, don ball­go­wns from their grand­moth­ers’ era in ad­vance of Plim­mer­ton’s 1950s tea dance-themed fair in April.

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