Valley Viewpoints: Bring back the dance floor


 by Stacey K. Lachut of VolneyI would like to start by saying how proud I am for Fulton’s Memorial Day weekend festivities. It reminds me of the small town that I grew up in years ago in Greenbelt, Md. However, I have a small bone to pick with the Memorial Day Salute Committee.

My husband, children, and I have lived in Volney since 1999 (husband Mike was born and raised here) and we have supported the Celebration Weekend in one way shape or form, i.e., being in the parade, going to the parade, the Carnival, or the War Memorial Entertainment.

The entertainment has always been the highlight of my weekend — with the exception of the last four or five years when the MDS committee started blocking off the front of the stage.

This year I vented to Mr. Jim Myers Saturday night explaining to him that Fulton has turned itself into Bomont (Footloose) where we have now banned dancing.

Mr. Myers rebutted in so many words that the area is blocked off because the sponsors were given the right to have a chair (ticket) in the front-most section for their contribution.

I have no quarrel with that for the most part. I do have a quarrel with the fact that the area in front of the stage is blocked off; albeit it would be nice if the 31 of 50 empty seats could have been opened to other patrons. I come to the War Memorial on Saturday night for one sole purpose: To eat my half chicken and dance to the music. The music is great (you can’t beat the price) and I love to dance; I don’t even need a partner.

Bands play to people. Dance or “Party” bands play to dancing people; like me. Each one feeds off the other. It’s called adrenaline.

When Mr. Myers told me that the “sides” were open for dancing I asked him how many dances he went to where the people danced on the “sides.”

That’s like a comedian telling a joke to an empty room; no personal feedback. Bands need to communicate with people dancing to their music. The speakers hide quite a bit from the side view.

I understand that there is a MDS Committee “wrap up” meeting soon.

I have a few suggestions: 1) open the area in front of the stage; 2) if the paying sponsors choose not to come, open the seats up to the other patrons after 8 p.m.; they’re obviously not coming by then; 3) Pick bands that are from the 60s and 70s — great dance bands and Baby Boomer bands.

Think about it, Baby Boomers are your greatest supporters of the weekend salute. The music you provide should be something that they, we can associate with. We can sing and dance to it. There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing couples dancing to the 60’s like they did back in high school.

Take a moment in your upcoming meeting to think back how the War Memorial entertainment portion worked in the past. Fulton has lost money in these last few years; yes, I have noticed. Ask yourselves why. The War Memorial used to be packed — even ran out of burgers, dogs, and chicken one year!

As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Take away the “elite section” and give back the dance floor. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of each couple dancing was a veteran just reliving their youth. That’s what dancing to the 60”s & 70”s is all about.

The “elite” should be the veterans we honor, not the corporate/local sponsors that don’t show up.

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