Workshops, panel discussions, sewing clinics — and above all, music and nearly 14 hours of dancing each day — await participants at the 62nd National Square Dance Convention.
The four-day gathering that begins June 26 at Cox Convention Center will mark the fifth time Oklahoma City has hosted the gala for square dancing enthusiasts. Six dance halls will be in use, with sessions starting at 10 a.m. each day beginning June 27 and running until 11:30 p.m. An opening ceremony is scheduled June 26.
About 4,500 dancers representing all 50 states and several countries are expected, said Michael Carrier, president of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The planning committee bills it as “The World's Greatest Square Dance Event.” Publicity co-chairman Ed Baker, Lawton, said activities “will be enough to keep everyone busy.”
Up to 1,000 hotel rooms will be in use nightly downtown and elsewhere in Oklahoma City during the convention.
Linda and Glen Bray, of Piedmont, are co-presidents of the Oklahoma Square Dance Federation and belong to the Circle 8 square dance club of Oklahoma City. They are housing and registration co-chairmen for the convention.
Linda Bray said many dancers plan their vacations around the convention, held last year in Spokane, Wash. The 2014 convention will be in Little Rock, Ark.
“It's good clean family fun,” she said. “There is no drinking, and it's good exercise.”
Dance, learn, shop
Planning began in earnest four years ago after the convention was awarded to Oklahoma City. It was last held here in 2003.
The convention will bring an estimated $5 million in retail business to Oklahoma City, Carrier said.
“These people will go out and shop; they will go to attractions while they're here,” Carrier said.