Barn Dance gets bigger

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Sequim Gazette

One night to shimmy and shake on the dance floor wasn’t enough for parent organizers of Five Acre School’s Beat the Blues Barn Dance.


For the event’s fourth year, families can dance and boogie together on Friday, April 20, to the Black Diamond Fiddle Club for contra dances, and dancers 16 and older can stomp away the night on Saturday, April 21, to Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys and New Forge.


The action all takes place under the Big Barn Farm at 702 Kitchen-Dick Road owned by Pat and Jean Ridle.


Co-organizers and parents of students at Five Acre, Lynette Brown and Wendy Schroeder said the school’s barn dance takes its roots from dances that their family members once participated in.


“Barn dances are a part of the history of the area and the revival going and to support local,” Brown said. “For my whole life, I’ve heard stories about these dances.”


Her parents, as teens, attended dances in Macleay Hall at the Sequim Prairie Grange.


Schroeder said her grandparents used to dance in the Chicken Coop Road dance hall until 5 a.m. and be done dancing in time to go milk cows on their farm.


“This (dance) taps into the roots of what Sequim is all about,” Brown said.


“One of Five Acre’s focuses is being a part of the community and giving back in a wholesome way.”


She was part of the parent team that started the school dance that sees 400-500 people come each year.


“A lot of work goes into it with a lot of families pulling together,” Brown said. “As the event has grown, more people have gotten involved.”


Schroeder said the dance is a fundraiser but also an extension of the community’s history.


“It’s definitely a family event,” she said.


Proceeds benefit school scholarships and equipment. Bill and Juanita Jevne started Five Acre School in 1995 with current classes for grades preschool through sixth grade.


Brown said scholarships help the school stay diverse by serving a broad range of children.


“They used to do a formal event, but we decided we needed to do a fundraiser that reflects the essence of the school,” Brown said.

Dance, Sequim, dance

On the family night, Friday, April 20, Black Diamond Fiddle Club plays for contra dancers new and old. A drum circle follows (no experienced needed) and the evening ends with Zumba featuring ZumbAtomic and marimba music with JuanaMarimba.


Children can participate in a free take-home-a-tree craft. A silent auction with many handcrafted items and prizes for raffle also are available.


The second night, April 21, for ages 16 and older, features local sensations Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys opening for New Forge, a diverse band of roots music with bluegrass improvisation, funk, reggae and rock grooves. New Forge features mandolin player Matt Sircely, who recently appeared on the cover of Mandolin Magazine.


The concert also is one of the final performances for Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys before they take a hiatus as a band. Brown said the dances should appeal to people of all generations.


“It’s an eclectic mix of music with something for everyone,” she said.


Five Acre School’s Caitlyn’s Cafe hosts food for sale on Friday and on Saturday night food is sold by Old Mill Café, Mystery Bay Seafood and the Garden Bistro. Local wine and beer are available on Saturday by Fathom and League, Port Townsend Brewing Co., and Olympic Cellars.


Tickets can be purchased at the dance or by calling the school.


For more information, visit or contact Five Acre School, 515 Lotzgesell Road, at 681-7255.

Reach Matthew Nash at

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