Statewide: 42 Years and Counting
By Larry Getchell
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
They are coming down our street, Ma," and welcome to the 13th Annual Statewide Festival in San Francisco, "Golden Gate in 58." With Don Spier as president of Folk Dance Federation, North, one could expect nothing less than Statewide in the City by the Golden Gate. General Festival Chairperson, Carlos Ruling and his Committee, promised a weekend not to be forgotten and he was right. The Whitcomb Hotel, now named the San Francisco, was our headquarters. Located at 8th and Market, it was in easy walking distance to the Civic Auditorium where most of the events would take place.
The opening shot was an Outdoor Dance Party out in Golden Gate Park from 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., leaving plenty of time for folks to explore more of the park or to satisfy their appetites in one of the world's greatest epicurean centers. It helped that Friday, May 30th, was a holiday, allowing time for folks to reach the city in plenty of time for all the festivities.
But it was to be hoped folks would not get too involved as the evening party at the Civic Auditorium would start at 7:30 p.m. We wouldn't want to have them miss dancing on that fine wood floor in the spacious hall.
The After Party was fun but many elected to visit some of San Francisco's famous night spots. To each his own.
The Saturday afternoon Dancer's Institute was held at the Merchandise Mart on Market Street.
Other events deserving mention, aside from the dancing, was the Evaluation Breakfast, conducted by Frank Kane, the Costume Prade, organized by Edith Cuthbert, and Tours, arranged by Al Alden. Thanks also should be extendedto the San Francisco Junior Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Recreation Parks Department for their assistance and sponsorship.
Dancing again took place at the Civic Auditorium, Sunday afternoon and evening. On Sunday afternoon, we had unexpected visitors, a famous Russian Folk Dance group, performing in San Francisco. We felt quite honored by their presence and they were very complimentary of our dancing and exhibitions.
During the course of the afternoon program, time was taken to introduce Don Spier, President of the Federation, North, and his counterpart John Hancock, President of the Federation, South, as well as General Chairman, Carlos Ruling and his Committee.
Those who attended Festival of the Golden Gate, especially for the first time, spent a busy weekend trying to attend Festival events and taking in as many of San Francisco's famous sites as time would permit. It was a time they would not soon forget.
Copyright © 2011 by Dick Oakes