The Gawler Family Band will play the Belfast Flying Shoes contra dance Friday, Feb. 2, with caller Chrissy Fowler. Everyone is invited to join the evening of contra dancing at American Legion Post No. 43, 143 Church St.

The festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a Community Dance called by Fowler with music by the All-Comers Band; all musicians are welcome to sit in. Fun and simple dances will be taught, giving beginners the opportunity to learn new skills and offering experienced dancers a chance to brush up on their steps.

Belfast’s own Fowler also will call the contra dance proper, which begins at 8 p.m. A founder and leading light of the Belfast Flying Shoes dance series, Fowler also spreads the joy of contra dancing at schools, community gatherings and private events. With wit and good cheer, she keeps things spicy enough for veteran dancers while making novices feel equally welcome.

Sharing the Flying Shoes stage with Fowler will be The Gawler Family Band comprising Ellen (fiddle) and John (banjo, guitar, harmonica) Gawler, pillars of Maine’s traditional music and dance community; their multitalented daughters Molly (fiddle), Edith (fiddle, banjo) and Elsie (cello); and farming folklorist Bennett Konesni (guitar, banjo). The Gawlers have charmed audiences across the Northeast with their sparkling musicianship and irresistible good cheer. Drawing on an extensive repertoire of Down East, Scots-Irish, Swedish and French Canadian tunes, this fun-loving, foot-stomping string band will put wings on feet and smiles on faces.

Eric Weest Johnson will handle sound. Admission to the Community Dance is $2 for adults, $1 for children. Admission to the contra dance is $10; $8 for youth age 13 to 20 and adult All-Comers; and $5 for children. Those who bring along a window fan get a dollar off. For more information, call 338-0979; email; or visit and the Facebook page.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or