The Athabascan Fiddle Festival in Fairbanks had its first show 31 years ago, in 1983. Since then the festival has grown, and seen changes in the music, but is still thriving. The event is inter-generational, and it is not uncommon to see an elder and dancing with a young teenager. The dance feels like a throwback to the Gold Rush days, when such gatherings really started going gangbusters.
The popular dances back then were reels and jigs, but over the years other dances entered the mix: Jitterbug, swing, two-step, waltz and foxtrot. But the old days are not lost. Today's dances feature a jigging competition, in which dancers sport their best beaded mukluks and moosehide regalia, and dance an Irish-inspired jig that a someone from the 19th century would recognize.
Read the full article on Alaska Dispatch. http://j.mp/akdsptchfiddlefest