Dancing into the Sunset

Dancing into the Sunset Dance Party at Pomona Park in Fruitport, Wednesday’s throughout the summer

by Susan Halter

The 1st ANNUAL DANCING INTO THE SUNSET is in the books! With over 550 attending throughout the summer! It was successful enough that The Village of Fruitport and The Fruitport Lions Club has agreed to the 2nd Annual Dancing into the Sunset 2018 to take place again starting Wednesday May 9th. Here is just a recap of the fun we had this summer in Pomona Park at the Bandshell in Fruitport.

twirlIf you wanted to learn how to swing dance we had Steve Zaagman creator of Grand Rapids Original Swing Society teach us how. If you wanted to learn how to line dance Diane Sherman and fellow line dancers taught us how to line dance. If you wanted to learn how to Cha, Cha, waltz or the night club two step then Ed and Gayle Wiers of Grand Haven Dance Lessons stepped up to teach. If you wanted to join in Francine’s Zumba class then all were welcomed for the night. We even learned ballet the rock and roll way from Krista Carlson and how to square dance from Jim of Hi Nabors. If a live band is what you wanted to dance to then we had The Silverado Band not once but twice to entertain us. dancingImpact Entertainment Mobile DJ Service provided a variety of the music eleven of the fifteen Wednesday nights which truly was a family affair who knows how to read a crowd and what type of music needs to be played. Meghan even stepped out into the crowd to help teach a variety of dance styles from all her years of experience being a DJ. Thank you to all of you for giving your time and effort to be part of our first year.

Many thanks to Jeremy from the Village of Fruitport for making sure Pomona Park was in tip top shape each Wednesday night and reminding the community each Wednesday the party was on! Thank you to Ye Old and The Storage Group for providing the brochures and signs, thank you to Fruitport Orchard Market for the delicious 100th Birthday cake for the Lions Club Celebration on June 7th and thank you to Baker Jo’s Cupcakes for the July 5th Cupcakes. Thank you to WayPoint Dock and Deli for advertising on your rolling sign and allowing boats to moor at your docks and walk over to Dancing into The Sunset and thank you to Fruitport Township for advertising on your rolling sign as well. Even Andy O’Riley of Positively Muskegon and the Muskegon Channel on Facebook spent an afternoon with me at Pomona Park showcasing Spring Lake and the Bandshell in the background. He has a soft spot for local community events and supports what he can through his media shows. Thank you to you too, Andy. Mostly thank you to the Fruitport Lions Club for stepping up to the plate and adding this event as a Lions Club sponsored event that we all will continue for many years to come.

lineYes I mentioned a lot of thank you’s just now but it is important to know even though I was the one that started Dancing Into The Sunset it is equally important to recognize those that stepped up as well to make it happen. As you can see this was truly a community supported weekly event that I so enjoyed bringing back to the same location where many memories were made back in the 1940’s and 50’s when dancing and music took place at the “Pavilion” . I heard stories of how husbands and wives met for the first time, and still after 60 years can look into each others eyes with that sparkle and remember as if it was just yesterday. As requested pictures were brought down and given to me to display of the Pavilion as it once stood before flames took it to the ground. The structure may be gone but those memories will stay in the hearts of all those that attended. What an amazing first year! Let’s keep it going!

couplesWatch for announcements after the first of the year for the 2018 Dancing into the Sunset line up of entertainment. If anyone has any suggestions, positive comments or would like to help with the success of Dancing into the Sunset any way you can please do contact Susan at her email of: dancingintosunset @aol.com. or Facebook page of Dancing into the Sunset – Fruitport. Looking for sponsors to keep this a “free” event. So if you or your business would like to sponsor one of our Wednesday nights contact me at the places just mentioned.

Hope you enjoy the photos which were taken by Wendy Press VanKoevering of Picture It Now and Forever. Thank you Wendy! See you in 2018!

Be sure to purchase your tickets for The 10th Year of Dancing With the Local Stars featuring past Alumni Stars and Pro dancers held at the Muskegon Holiday Inn sponsored by Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce (www.womensdivision.org) which raises funds for the local food pantries. Last year alone $126,000.00 were raised which brings the grand total to date (started in 2009) to over $700,000.00 – This year they have added additional performances. There will be six performances over two weekends. Two shows first weekend – Friday February 16th, 2018, at 7:00 pm, and Saturday evening February 17, 2018 7:00 pm, then four shows the 2nd weekend, Thursday February 22, 7:00 pm – Friday February 23nd, 7:00pm – Saturday February 24th with a matinee at 1:00pm and evening performance at 7:00pm

Yours truly was asked back for the Alumni year representing Fruitport Township and the Fruitport Lions Club. I hope many from the area will be interested in purchasing sponsorships or purchase tickets to one of the shows. I will be dancing for $$$ I will receive $1.00 towards my name to put towards the food pantry donation for each vote from the audience. So you see you need to be present to help out this local Fruitport Township dancer. The Women’s Division puts on a terrific show, a full display of hors d’oeuvres as a part of your ticket price. Contact the Women’s Division at the website above or by calling Mary Kendall at (231)-798-4244 or kendallmarya@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for your support!