Street dance celebration in Towner
While street dances might not be as popular in bigger cities, you can count on a small town like Towner to keep the fun, music, and dancing going each year. On July 3 every year, Towner hosts its annual street dance alongside its rodeo for those of the community, surrounding area, and any other interested guests. People come from all around for what is always expected to be a good time.
According to Billi Jo Eriksmoen, who used to be involved in the street dance and now works for the Mouse River Journal, the event kicks off its festivities with the rodeo with some slack riding. From there, most years, a pig roast is done by the motorcycle club, though Eriksmoen said she wasn’t sure if it still occurred or what specifically would be planned for this summer’s street dance event.
Then as the night takes over, the dance will begin. A stage is set up on Main Street for the chosen band of the year. The entire block is closed off from one bar to the other to allow dancers and guests to safely wander and have fun.
“A lot of people wander back and forth between the two bars, visiting with friends, sometimes stopping for a dance as they pass,” said Eriksmoen.
The dance has been going on for years. Eriksmoen believes it started around the time the Towner Rodeo Association was incorporated, making the joke “I wonder which came first, the rodeo or the dance?”
Towner has always worked hard to put on the fun event, which is seen as a fun for all family event. Either one or both of the bars in town have helped out with funding the dance and finding the band.
While Towner has done the dance for so long, they haven’t had a smooth event every year. Weather can always put a stop to events and in 2011 when the flood hit, the dance didn’t quite turn out. With Towner ready to celebrate it’s 125th anniversary, the flood of 2011 occurred and caused a kink in the plans. The town had three days of dances and festivities planned to celebrate, but sadly the flood had other ideas and made it so no one was able get to town.
Most years, though, the street dance fills the town with music and fun.
For many, street dances, at least for Towner, are a fun social event for all ages. No one is excluded and Eriksmoen said that everyone loves the dance whether they are partaking or just sitting and listening to it all.