by Alexandra Muto
The Ransomville Street Dance, which will be held Saturday, Aug. 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., may include a new funding source this year, but that does not mean it will waver from its traditional format.
According to one of its sponsors, Casey's Malt Shoppe co-owner Karen Fellows, the annual gathering on Academy Street will again feature music, community and food. It was created "About four years ago," says Karen, when a Ransomville resident commented that, "It would be nice to do a street dance (to complement Ransomville's) weekly gazebo concerts."
She and her husband and co-manager, Carl Fellows, say the Street Dance, from its inception, has taken place at the same location and with the same musical group, the Country Classics, making it an irreplaceable affair in the eyes of residents. As Carl explained, "(it) has been successful. Everyone loves it."
The Town of Porter and Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, which assisted in funding prior dances, opted to focus on a Porter on the Lake event of the same type as Ransomville's. It boasted a large turnout, yet Ransomville residents pined for their own popular street gathering. "Many locals said that 'that wasn't our street dance'," Carl says. Ransomville residents missed the opportunity to gather with friends and family at a central meeting place and enjoy good music.
Realizing the significance that Street Dance had to local residents, three Ransomville businesses banded together to fund this year's Street Dance. They include Casey's, Rocky's Pizza Too, and Ki-Po Chevrolet. After careful planning, the band was rehired, the date was scheduled, and even the Town of Porter decided to pitch in. The town agreed to close the street off for the dance knowing "how important it was to us," explains Carl.
With this strong direction, Karen optimistically stated, "Hopefully the Street Dance will grow, and maybe next year it will even take off!" Carl and Karen confirmed Casey's will sell burgers, hot dogs, and sausages and Rocky's will also sell food. In addition, alcoholic beverages, soda, and other drinks will be available at the event. With its strong combination of beloved classic offerings and the flair of new management, organizers are hopeful the Street Dance will continue to flourish for years to come.