24 May 2009 - Dancing Tour of Vermont

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The weather was not quite so glorious at the start of the second day of the Marlboro Ale but, more importantly, the breakfast was. Suitably fortified, the Kettle Bridge Concertina Band gathered for a quick informal practice before we set off down the hill to the Music Shed where a fleet of authentic yellow School buses were waiting for us. The plan was for the sides to be split into groups each of which would perform a number of stands at various towns in the surrounding area. We were teamed up with Jack in the Green, the youngsters from Great Meadows Morris and Sword and Harrisville Morris Women.

Our first stop was at Dummerston which was a very pleasant location but with a very sparse audience. There were also a few spots of rain in the air but this did not last long. The dancing surface was excellent, once you got used to the slope.

As usual, the sides took turns to dance and Kettle Bridge performed Annie's and Horbury, finishing up with a record breaking Churchtown which included just about all the other dancers and a few of the audience. Having mostly "proper" dancers made Val's job of teaching the dance so much easier. The other sides' individual performances were all excellent and a memorable leapfrog dance from Jack in the Green sticks in my memory. Click here to see the video.

Then it was everyone back on the buses for a drive to Saxton's River Inn. Here a lunch of "roll-ups" had been thoughtfully arranged for us by John Todd. Thankfully, these were of the edible variety rather than something to smoke! This was a welcome opportunity to relax for a while but, in amongst all the eating, drinking and chatting, the intrepid concertina band somehow managed to find time for another practice session.

By the time that lunch was over, the weather had improved to give a pleasant sunny afternoon so it was an enjoyable stroll to the next stand just down the road. Here the audience seemed to consist of just a couple of cyclists but this didn't dent the dancers' determination to demonstrate their dashing displays. As we were a little behind schedule, Kettle Bridge did only one dance before we were whisked off again in the School bus through the Vermont countryside to the gathering of all the Ale sides at Newfane.