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Bad weather cuts Parishville’s seniors Christmas dance attendance in half

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PARISHVILLE — Dressed in fancy Christmas sweaters, blazers and dancing shoes, members of the Parishville Hilltoppers Senior Citizens Club headed to the Parishville Fire Hall Sunday, despite bad weather, for their annual Christmas dance party.

Music from The Back Country Band had folks square and slow dancing from 1 to 4 p.m.

Barb A. Page, president of the seniors club, said although this year’s party was open to the public, she thinks the lake-effect snow that hit the area Saturday night and Sunday played a huge role in the fact that fewer people joining their festivities.

“A lot of the members are seniors and the weather scared them today,” she said. “And it’s sad because they worked so hard.”

Ms. Page said the club consists of about 28 members who all pitched in to decorate the hall, bring finger foods and spread holiday cheer.

“At this time of year people have the blahs,” she said. “It’s the biggest time of the year for people to be sad, especially if you’re a senior or living alone or shut in.”

Marion H. Campbell, Brasher Falls, was passing out raffle tickets at the door. She said this year they had about 23 people face the weather and join the dance, but usually they have around 50.

“We had 60-something people here last year,” Doris W. Brown, a member from Madrid, said. “The weather has a lot to do with it. I hesitated myself because I didn’t know how the roads were going to be.”

The snow wasn’t enough to stop some from hitting the dance floor, however.

Joan P. Randall of West Parishville and her husband of 52 years, Elbridge E., are members of the club and attend the monthly dances.

Mrs. Randall said she was disappointed that the attendance was down, especially since they opened it up to the public this year.

“We invited everybody free, as a way of giving back to the town,” Mrs. Randall said.

Ms. Page said the busy time of year may have also contributed to the lowered attendance.

“We wanted more of the town people to participate, but people are busy this time of year,” she said.

Doug E. LaFlesh, Brasher Falls, didn’t think the weather was a good excuse to miss out on dancing.

“We have to be used to this weather since we live in the north country where it snows,” he said. “I don’t want to hear that excuse. A lot of people made the drive.”

The four-member country band, whose slogan is “Country the Way it Used to Be,” played a variety of favorites from its 234-song playlist.

Although the musicians play for a variety of events, the seniors’ Christmas party is one of their favorites because the dancers are “livelier” and “dedicated,” they said.

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