Disco-era party turns back clock, brings big crowd

Posted: May 3, 2013

The Winchester Star

Cookie Sullivan of Winchester was in the front row for the Right On Band at the Sheetz Thursday Night Fever Disco Dance. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)
The Right On Band — a 10-piece group that specializes in Motown, disco and 1970s funk — rocks the Sprint Tent.

WINCHESTER — The clock was turned way back Thursday night as more than a thousand people flocked to The Bloom’s 1970s disco-era party.

Bell-bottoms, afros and mini-dresses were aplenty as songs like “Last Dance” by Donna Summer and “YMCA” by the Village People blared from the speakers.

“These people are really decked out. This is an event,” said first-timer Jon Nicely.

The 49-year-old Winchester resident had his hair pulled back in a ponytail and rocked a pair of black bell-bottoms with a dark red-sequined V-neck.

He said his goal when dressing was to look as good as he did.

“I achieved it,” he laughed.

The 86th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival’s Sheetz Thursday Night Fever Disco Dance sold out for the third year in a row.

Co-chairman Sabra Veach said 1,350 tickets were sold, and she thought it was the first Apple Blossom event to sell out for 2013.

The event — located in the Sprint tent on a back parking lot of the Winchester Medical Center campus — is a tradition for some.

Katrina Fishel, 54, of Clear Brook, said she attends the festivities with friends every year.

“It’s a really, really good event and it appeals to all ages,” she said.

Decked out in a black, white and silver suit and a black hat, Fishel shook her groove thing on a crowded dance floor.

“It’s just great fun,” she yelled over the music.

The Right On Band — a 10-piece group that specializes in Motown, disco and 1970s funk — knew how to get the partygoers on their feet.

As soon as the band, which has performed at the dance every year, took the stage, people poured onto the dance floor.

Cathy Lewis, 49, said she came from Capon Bridge, W.Va., to soak up the fun.

She said she loved the band.

“The music is really good,” she said.

Bill and Sherry Rawls-Bryce, of Winchester, also said they enjoy the 1970s-era music.

The first-time guests said they had friends who wanted to go and were excited for the event.

When asked what they were most looking forward to, Sherry said “the dancing” and then shook her hips and held her arms out.

The two were quite a pair — Sherry in a floral-print dress, white go-go boots and a white head scarf and Bill in white bell-bottoms, a white V-neck and black vest.

“We kind of pieced stuff together,” Sherry said of their costumes.

Veach said her favorite part of the night is seeing all the costumes.

As for the event’s growing popularity, she speculated that it was because people enjoy dressing up, having an alter ego for the night and reliving the past.

“It all comes back by popular demand,” she added.

— Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com