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Everybody's Day attracts all ages

August 30, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION
  • Adam Mumma, 25, of Hagerstown, a member of the Potamac Dancers, performs a traditional dance Sunday during Everybody's Day at Pen Mar Park.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer,

Sunday marked the 20th year that James E. Powers Sr. has been organizing the music for Everybody's Day at Pen Mar Park, an event that showcases big-band music.

And there was hope in the air that the art form will go on after a 16-year-old girl and her partner won two dancing contests at the event.

The event featured jitterbug and waltz contests, for which a crowd gathered around a pavilion at the park to watch.

The winners --Monique Sparks of Frederick, Md., and Jason Diggs of Hagerstown -- were determined based on the level of applause from the audience.

Powers was all smiles Sunday as he talked about how young people have taken an interest in big-band music, which he attributes partly to the popularity of television shows like "Dancing with the Stars."

Sparks said she and Diggs have been dancing together for about six weeks. They met at a salsa dance in Frederick and discovered that they enjoyed a "really fiery passion" for tango dancing, Sparks said.

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Sparks agreed that TV shows like "Dancing with the Stars" have helped spark an interest in big-band music among youth, although she said she does not have cable television with which to watch the show.

"It's a good way to have a lot of fun without getting into trouble," Sparks said of ballroom dancing.

Everybody's Day is an annual event intended to offer something for everyone. The attractions in the past, in addition to dancing contests, have included a mustache and beard contest, and magic shows.

Powers said Everybody's Day attracted about 7,000 people last year, a number he believed was exceeded Sunday.

As in past years, people were scattered in shady areas under trees in front of the pavilion and many enjoyed picnics as the music played. Antique cars were being displayed.

Bud and Barbara Faubel of Chambersburg, Pa., wore matching outfits of red and yellow on Sunday.

Barbara Faubel said she started making clothes when her first husband had trouble finding clothing that fit him. Now she designs clothing for her current husband, and she's been known to paint ties and shoes in different colors to make them match her outfits.

The Faubels said they have been coming to dancing events at the park for about 10 years.

"It gives the seniors someplace to come, something to do," Barbara Faubel said.

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