Abilene will again be the site for the Kansas Statehood Ball, sponsored by the Dickinson County Historical Society. The Ball will be held 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Sterl Hall in Eisenhower Park.
This will be the 18th annual event. The Kansas Statehood Ball has been featured on the PBS Television program Sunflower Journeys.
“This event is geared toward the entire family,” said Jeff Sheets, Director of the Dickinson County Historical Society. ”There are no age limits in learning dances of our ancestors.”
The public is invited to come in period clothing, but is not mandatory. Cost of the dance is $5 for adults, $3 for members of the local historical society and $2 for children 3-12 years of age.
Robert Thomas from Fort Scott will be the preceptor, dance instructor and social director. He and his wife Anita demonstrate the 1860 period dances, including the Virginia Reel, Jenny Lind Polka and the flirtatious Hat Dance.
Thomas also teaches 1860 ballroom etiquette.
The evening begins with the traditional Grand March at 7 p.m., followed by a waltz. Music is provided by the Kansas Brigade Band, assisted by Peggy Meuli on the piano. This band is made up of musicians from the local area and has performed for nearly 20 years for Civil War events around the state of Kansas.
“Those not wanting to dance will enjoy listening to the 1860 period music and watching others dance,” Sheets said.
The Statehood Ball is an educational program provided by the Dickinson County Historical Society. Refreshments will be provided.
The Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau is offering a weekend package for the event.
Participants can spend the night in a Bed & Breakfast or hotel and enjoy dinner at a restaurant of their choice before attending the Statehood Ball. For additional information, call the Abilene CVB at 785-263-2231 or visit the website at www.abilenekansas.org.