Harman has a tradition of holding a square dance on the Saturday before deer season kicks off - "The Deer Hunter's Ball."
It is a tradition that will resume this year, as part of a schedule of dances coordinated with the Mountain Dance Trail, a project of the Augusta Heritage Center.
"It's a natural gathering time for many former area residents who have come back for deer hunting season," said Gerry Milnes, folk art coordinator of the Augusta Heritage Center.
Before the hunting season kicks off, the town of Harman invites hunters to the Deer Hunter’s Ball square dance. Dancing, music and refreshments will fill the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall beginning at 7 p.m.
This year's Deer Hunter's Ball square dance will be held on Saturday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students. Refreshments will be provided by the Harman VFW Ladies Auxiliary.
Providing live old-time music will be Jack Hedrick on fiddle, Alan Crossland on guitar and Judith Lazier on upright bass and several others will join them. Delmis Evans will be hollering out mountain circle square dance figures as he dances on the floor. All square dances are beginner friendly. Other local square dance callers are encouraged to attend and call dances as well. Participants can come out to dance or to listen.
Ron Mullennex, graduate of Harman High School in 1967, remembers the whole community coming out to square dance.
"People of all ages, kids too young to court, some that very much had courting on their mind, and married people married who had kids that were courting," he said. Square dances are "part of the area, part of the culture."
The Mountain Dance Trail has been working with local residents to organize square dances two other dances were held in April and June. "We had a great turnout at previous dances," said Rebecca Hill, AmeriCorps member working on the project, "and we hope to continue to do so."
The Mountain Dance Trail is a heritage tourism project of Augusta Heritage Center of Davis and Elkins College. The project preserves and promotes local square dances from the Virginia Line to the Ohio border.
On Saturday, the square dance in Harman wraps up the 2012 season. The 2013 Mountain Dance Trail season is planned to run from January to November.
Harman square dances will be part of the season, along with 14 other communities. The brochure with schedule will be available in December and may be seen online at www.mountaindancetrail.org. Information is also available by calling the Mountain Dance Trail coordinator at 304-637-1349.