Flurry brings a blizzard of art to Saratoga

Grace Harrison, Staff Writer

Saratoga Springs hosted it’s annual Flurry Festival, a festival for dance and music from Feb. 14 to 16. Over 5,000 people filled the Saratoga Hilton and City Center.

With seven events to choose from every hour, crowds of participants were gathered around bulletin boards trying to decide between waltz, swing, contra, old English, Cajun, Zydeco, or even, clogging and yodelling.

“The variety is amazing,” said first-time visitor to the Flurry Festival, Hannah Kingsworth, who is from Canada.

Tamara Flanders, the administrative director of the event, emphasized that people come to the Flurry from all over the states as well as Canada and as far as Australia.

“It’s a really nice range of people from 15 years old to 80 years old,” said Flanders.

The festival also offers family events open to young children.

The halls of the main building held jam sessions, fiddle bands and acapella groups situated between vendors offering dance shoes, clothing, food and more. This annual event is a source of business for Saratoga Springs during its winter season, helping local businesses at a time when the race track is closed.

Flanders explained that two of the Flurry’s main attractions are the Perpetual Motions Contra Band and Techno Contra (a mix of electronic music and contra dancing).

“I came to the Flurry for the contra dancing, but ended up learning clogging, Balkan, and Morris dancing,” said Connecticut resident Jane Prentice.

According to Flanders, what sets this event apart from any other is its variety of music and dance.

Sharon Katz and the Peace Train Band from Pennsylvania  performed  for the South African Township Jive Dancepalooza session. They recently returned from a tour through South Africa.

“This is one of the most receptive audiences we’ve ever had,” said Wendy Quick, a member of the band.

“[It was] a lovely, participatory and energetic audience,” said Sharon Katz, the South African-born leader and founder of the band.

The Flurry Festival offers discounted tickets for students and children as well as free admission to anyone who volunteers

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