Lympstone Furry Dance

PUBLISHED: 15:58 24 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:21 10 June 2010

SATURDAY, JULY 26: HUNDREDS of years of tradition, dressing up and community spirit will be preserved at Lympstone's Furry Dance on Saturday, August 2. The dance marks the 71st event since local bandmaster Bill Chapman used the modern Furry Dance step for the first time in

HUNDREDS of years of tradition, dressing up and community spirit will be preserved at Lympstone's Furry Dance on Saturday, August 2.The dance marks the 71st event since local bandmaster Bill Chapman used the modern Furry Dance step for the first time in 1933.The origin of the famous community event - thought to originate from celebrations held more than a century ago when village sailors brought home furs from Nova Scotia - is unclear. But 2008 will certainly be the 71st event in the modern era.Stepping out to lead the dance since 1965 has been Graham Wills, who will be joined by Jenny McNie, his dance partner since 1986. The twinkle-toed duo will hope for a break in this summer's weather to avoid the fate of the 1982 dance, cancelled due to heavy rain.The Furry Dance itself winds its way through the village from the Globe Inn at 7pm. With the Lympstone Southwest Telecoms Band leading the march, morris dancers will join the party outside the Swan Inn at 7.30pm, before the grand finale and fireworks at 10pm.All the traditional events will be back on the menu for this year, with an afternoon packed with family fun before the evening dance kicks off.Festivities will be officially opened at 1pm in Candy's Field, behind Lympstone Village Hall. The annual dog show begins at 1.30pm, followed by a 3pm performance by the Lympstone Junior Band, and a grand draw at 4.30pm. Nerves will begin to tick at 5pm when the big prize - the fancy dress awards - are judged.All afternoon, refreshments will be served with the entertainment, from falconry displays to a car boot sale and market, bucking bronco rides and a bouncy castle. A barbecue outside the village shop will restore the energy of dancers in the evening.

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