There’s no better way to swing into spring or get a (Lindy) hop on summer than with the annual Barn Dance held at Primrose Farm on May 18. With music provided by Chicagoland’s own 10-piece swing band, Shout Section, and dance lessons courtesy of Geneva’s own Vargo’s Dance, this evening under the stars at the Farm promises to be a jive-hot step back in time.
Shout Section Big Band features compelling vocals, talented musicians and amazing, quality music. The band will perform classic jazz from the 30s & 40s and showcase modern hits adapted to the big band style. The folks from Vargo’s Dance will be providing dance lessons to help dancers get in the – well, swing of things. The Farm will open their doors at 6pm to allow plenty of time to check-in before dance lessons begin.
And learning swing dance can be that much more fun if one dresses in costumes of the era. Anyone wearing period appropriate clothes from the 1930s and 1940s can choose to participate in a costume competition. This “People’s Choice” contest will reward creativity and authenticity in capturing the era through vintage clothes and accessories, so get ready to raid grandma’s closet or sift through area thrift stores.
Just as taking a break from the rigors of seasonal chores at events such as barn dances was a popular form of entertainment for farm families back in the 1930s, so was the chance to show off the fruits of their harvest and talents in their kitchen with a pie-baking contest. In the spirit of keeping it authentic, guests at this year’s barn dance are encouraged to show off more than their Lindy Hop by bringing a home-made pie to compete for bragging rights. During band breaks, pies will be judged based on appearance and taste. Winners will be announced during the final break of the evening. At that point, let the eating begin!
Slow Smoke BBQ will be on site selling their mouth-watering, traditional pulled pork sandwiches, a variety of hot dog specialties and all the country fixin’s you might desire.
Dancing in the barn can be an energetic pursuit, so when dancers need to cool their heels and catch their breath they can enjoy a break on a hay bale next to a bonfire or a tractor-drawn wagon ride around the farm fields. Twinkle lights and kerosene lanterns give the farm yard a festive glow and vases of fresh-cut flowers also add to the party atmosphere.
And lest one forgets that all this food, fun and music is taking place at a working farm, several of Primrose Farm’s resident animals will be overlooking the fun as well. Most of the farm animals will be accessible for petting in the lots and pastures closest to the barn.
Advance tickets are $10 per person while those purchased at the door are $15 each. Food and beverages are additional.
To learn more about the evening, including information on the pie-baking and vintage costume competitions, visit the Primrose Farm’s Facebook page or call Primrose Farm at 630-513-4370.