WINCHESTER — To celebrate the city’s 275th anniversary, the Parks and Recreation Department is bringing back the popular Moonlight Ball.
The Moonlight Ball — a re-creation of an 1860s traditional dance — will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the George Washington Hotel, 103 E. Piccadilly St.
Don’t worry if you missed Civil War-era dancing class in school. The Victorian Dance Ensemble from Harrisburg, Penn., will provide step-by-step instructions. The dance ensemble has performed at previous Winchester Parks and Recreation events, the Smithsonian Institute’s American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery and the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C., as well as many other events.
“You don’t have to know how to do the dances — at all,” said Leslie Bowery, special events coordinator for the Winchester Parks and Recreation Department. “They give you all the instructions.”
People of all ages are welcome. And don’t worry if you don’t have a dance partner.
“A lot of times they pair people up together,” Bowery said. “And sometimes they join in the dances, which is nice because then you have someone who knows what they’re doing as your partner.”
But much of the fun is because no one really knows what they’re doing — and that’s OK. “There’s a lot of laughing going on,” she said.
Period attire is encouraged, but not required. “People come in T-shirts and shorts while some have true Victorian attire,” Bowery said.
The Susquehanna Travellers will perform the music of 19th-century America. The musicians are re-enactors and members of the 87th PA Volunteer Infantry.
The Moonlight Ball was last held in 2012. It seemed fitting to bring it back as a way to commemorate the city’s 275th anniversary, which the city has been celebrating all year with various events.
Tickets are $25 per person, $40 per couple or $50 per group of four (must live in same household). For families with more than four people, an additional $5 will be charged for each household member.
Tickets and can be purchased in advance (by 4 p.m. Saturday) online at www.winchesterva.gov/parks, at the War Memorial Building or by calling 540-662-4946.
Tickets can also be purchased Saturday night at the door. But payment must be in the form of cash or check.
The admission price includes refreshments — water, lemonade, tea and cookies.
“It’s three hours of dancing, instruction and laughter and fun,” Bowery said.