Mark February 9 on your calendars – the Valentine Ceilidh is returning for another year.
An always-anticipated fundraiser put on by the Kinsmen Club of Lacombe, the ceilidh offers a full night of dancing, Celtic music, dancing and fun.
“It’s just an all-around fun evening. It’s non-stop,” said Kinsmen Dwight “Dewey” Baird.
“It starts with the Red Deer Legion Pipe Band, then St. James Gate and Scottish dancers, and then more pipe band and St. James Gate – everyone loves the band…There’s lots of dancing, both young and old. It’s a really good time.”
A ceilidh, by definition, is a traditional Scottish or Irish social gathering, featuring music, dancing and storytelling. In Canada, it’s often described as being a sort of “Maritime” party, given the Scottish and Irish influence on East coast music.
The event was originally put on by the Highland dancers and pipe band in Red Deer, but when they decided not to continue doing so themselves, they asked the Kinsmen to take it over, and Baird brought it out to Lacombe, where he said it’s “skyrocketed” ever since. Each year, they attract about 450 people.
The decision to hold it in February is part of the key to their success, with fewer competing events.
“There’s not much going on in February – the guys really like it. They have fun too, and bring their wife out,” he said, noting it’s also an affordable event.
“Another reason it’s so successful is most gigs (St. James Gate) plays are $40-50 and this is only $25.”
The cost of the ticket includes admission, aforementioned entertainment, as well as draws, a cash bar and a lunch.
As a fundraiser, the event brings in between $8,000 and $15,000 for the Kinsmen, which is then put back into the community through a number of Kinsmen initiatives.
Those interested in attending, however, shouldn’t delay as tickets often sell out before the event. Individual tickets or reserved tables of eight can be purchased through Lacombe Kinsmen members, including Baird himself at (403)505-4271, or online at www.lacombekinsmen.ca.
Minors are not allowed.
“We just want everyone to come out and have a good time,” he said.