Strawberry Dance returning to its Central Saanich roots

The Dance acts as a fundraiser for the replacement of roofs on two of the barns at the Saanich Fairgrounds.

Local group Shaky Ground will perform at this year’s Strawberry Dance at the Saanich Fairgrounds tomorrow night.

A continuation of a tradition since the 1930s, the Strawberry Dance will take place this Saturday, a farm tradition celebrating the end of June strawberry season.

The Dance which used to take place in the Brentwood Bay Community Hall has been moved this year to the Saanich Fairgrounds. It’s jointly presented by the North and South Saanich Agricultural Society, Brentwood Bay Community Association and the Saanichton Village Association.

The Dance acts as a fundraiser for the replacement of roofs on two of the barns at the Saanich Fairgrounds along with raising funds to support the construction of a permanent stage for the Music in the Park series in Pioneer Park.

“So it’s raisin the roof in more ways than one,” said Councillor with Central Saanich Bob Thompson who is also on the board of Directors for the North and South Saanich Agricultural Society.

Thompson has been volunteering with the Dance for the past two years.

The event is an adult only event, and will see a 50/50 draw, a silent auction to help raise money for the projects, a delicious strawberry shortcake with fresh local strawberries, a performance by the popular party group Shaky Ground, and of course, dancing.

Since its beginning in the 1930s, Thompson said there are a couple of different interpretations of the Dance.

One is that back in those days, strawberries came out in early June not the middle of May, so at the end of the season, people would have a celebratory dance, with big bands coming out like Len Acres and other Victoria orchestras.

“This was farmers largely that did this and so we’re trying to sort of bring it back to its farm roots by having it at the fairgrounds as well,” said Thompson.

The adult-only event will be held at the Saanich Fairgrounds. Tickets are $15 each or $25 per couple, to be purchased in advance from the Saanich Fairgrounds office, Breadstuffs Bakery in Brentwood Bay and Fresh Cup Roastery in Saanichton.

Money will go towards the two projects of the new roofs and stage for Music in The Park.