Plimmerton – land of a thousand dances
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.