Folklife Center to host Square Dance to kick-of 2019 Gala Celebration

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Join the Folklife Center for an old time Square Dance featuring caller Taylor Runner and music by the Kennedy Barn String Band.

On Thursday, September 19th at 7 p.m., the Folklife Center will hold a square dance in the Great Room of Cultures on the second floor of the center. This event is free and open to the public and is a beginner friendly dance, with all ages from kids on up welcome. Everyone is encouraged to join in but may also just watch, listen, and enjoy. 

The square dance will feature caller Taylor Runner to lead the festivities, providing instruction on the dances before they begin. Runner lives in Morgantown and is known as one of the premier traditional square dance callers in West Virginia. One of his mentors was the great Worley Gardner, the namesake of the popular Gardner Winter Music Festival that is held each February at South Middle School in Morgantown. Taylor has called dances throughout the state and region, including the West Virginia State Folk Festival at Glenville and the Appalachian String Band Music Festival (Clifftop) at Camp Washington Carver in Fayette County. Taylor is especially recognized for his ability to teach square dancing to first time participants. 

The Kennedy Barn String Band will provide the dancing tunes. The Kennedy Barn String Band is proudly associated with the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University. The group plays traditional Appalachian old time music and practices weekly at the Folklife Center. The name of the group comes from the fact that the Folklife Center is located in a renovated barn that was originally built by the Kennedy family in the early 1900s. The Kennedy Barn String Band has played for square dances, Folklife Center and community events, and at local traditional music festivals. In May of 2018, the Kennedy Barn String Band received the Traditions Salute Award from the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center. 

This event will also feature a cakewalk, allowing participants the chance to win delicious sweets and desserts. 

The Folklife Center is located in the historic Kennedy Barn on the Fairmont State University Campus and is dedicated to the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of our region’s rich cultural heritage. It houses academic minors in folklore and museum studies. This event is free and open to the public but donations are accepted. For questions, please contact Dr. Francene Kirk at 304-367-4403 or