The Highland County Senior Citizens Center will be transformed into a ’50s diner and dance hall when the center hosts its third annual 1950s Dinner and Dance on Saturday, May 14.
The event includes a dinner of burgers, fries and ice cream sundaes; dancing entertainment and instruction; then dancing to 1950s music.
“It’s Older Americans Month, people love ’50s music, I love ’50s music, and people like ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ so I said let’s just do that,” Senior Center Executive Director Mechell Frost said about the event’s origin two years ago.
Frost said the center is decorated with black and white and hot pink walls, balloons, streamers, records, cutouts of James Dean and Elvis Presley, special lighting, and more to make it look like a 1950s diner/dance hall.
The doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner, with all the toppings for burgers and sundaes, starts about the same time. Every table will have a server and when dinner is about over a couple from the Arthur Murray School of Dance in Dayton will give a dancing exhibition that the audience can participate in.
“After that we’ll dance the night away to all the favorites from the 1950s and the deejay taking requests,” Frost said.
There will be 1950s trivia during dinner, a Hula Hoop contest, and more than 50 prizes given away throughout the evening, Frost said. There will also be a vintage backdrop where people can have their picture taken in black and white for a small fee.
“Typically adults attend, but last year we had some teenagers who came, and some of the local National Honor Society members that help as servers stayed and danced,” Frost said. “If you don’t want to dance, you don’t have to. Some people just come to enjoy the atmosphere. And if you want to dress up, we encourage people to dress like the 1950s, but a lot of people come dressed casually, too.”
The event is sponsored by Weastec, Thompson Funeral Homes, Littleton Respiratory Home Care, Crestwood Skilled Nursing and Walgreens.
The cost is $15 per ticket and they are on sale now at the senior center located at 185 Muntz St., Hillsboro. The center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 937-393-4745 for more information. Tickets will also be available at the door.
“But we pretty much have a packed house and we only have a limited amount of space,” Frost said.
The center is also currently holding a membership drive. A regular membership for anyone ages 50-89 is $20 per year. There is an associate membership for $25 for anyone ages 21-49, and anyone 90 or older can become a lifetime member as long as they register.
Frost said the membership drive is a way to raise funds to operate the center since it is self-supporting. The membership drive, with a prize of $100 to the member who signs up the most new members, runs through May 17. But memberships can be purchased anytime throughout the year.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.