Music and dancing has always been part of The Linn County Fair from the first fair with musical instrumental exhibits to the dancing pavilion in the 20’s to the start of the 4-H dances in the 60s, to this year as we commemorate our 125th anniversary with a special contest called the “Dancin’ Thru the Decades.”
Here are a few newspaper clips referencing dancing and music at The Linn County Fair:
- “H. C. Waits, Cedar Rapids, took first premium on all musical Instruments” as printed in the GAZETTE September 12, 1889.
- “These with a big, clean midway, several good shows, a big Ferris wheel, a $10,000 merry-go-round and dancing pavilion fill out a program that will make life one merry whirl while on the grounds.”- written in the Marion Weekly Sentinel August 28, 1924.
- Marion Sentinel September 3, 1925 article stated, “Remember that the outside gates are free each night admitting to live grounds which feature Wolf’s Greater Shows and midway attractions, including three sensational rides, seven Tent shows, and there will be dancing each evening at Wapsie Gardens. “
To help celebrate The Linn County Fair’s 125th Anniversary the Fair Association is putting on the “Dancing thru the Decades” Dance Off Competition with the help of i107.1. Participants will receive instructions on 10 different dance styles and have a chance to practice them before the competition begins. The dances include: the Charleston, the Hokey Pokey, the Chicken Dance, the Twist, YMCA, the Moonwalk, the Robot, the Macarena, the Cha Cha Slide, and Gangnam.
When the competition begins, contestants must perform the dance that corresponds with the music and as the music changes the dance style will change. Judges will “tap out” contests that aren’t performing correctly and the winner is the last person left dancing. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winner and two runners-up. All participants will be entered into a raffle for grandstand tickets, they will have a 1 in 4 chance of winning.
The contest will take place on Saturday, June 28th in the Lynn Dunn Memorial Building at the fairgrounds. Sign-up begins at 4:30pm, followed by the dance instructions at 5pm with the completion starting at 6pm. There are no age or residency restrictions, everyone is invited to participate. For more information and complete rules go to: http://thelinncountyfair.com/open-classes.html.
To get a sneak peak of what the dances will be the Linn County 4-H Youth Council has helped put together a video demonstrating the different dances. Check out the video on YouTube: