The first version of the Excelsior Fire District dance was held more than 120 years ago in 1893, and since then, in various forms, it’s been a must-attend event for the community. In the 1980s, the decision was made to hold the dance at the new station in town (instead of a neighboring dance hall). EFD historians share, “The EFD Auxiliary opened up a dessert booth, the pop stand served root beer on tap, and one year, a mechanical bull was part of the festivities.”
The dance is hosted by the EFD Firefighters Relief Association, and funds are used to purchase non-budgeted items—like equipment for a new rescue boat, snow tracks for an ATV and other gear.
Retired EFD firefighter Roger Hornick recalls the all-hands-on-deck effort in 1985 to bring the dance back to the Excelsior fire station “for the people we served,” says Hornick. “That first dance back in Excelsior after so many years was a huge success…the majority of the residents walked to the event. People came early and stayed late.” He notes that the firefighters and a few friends did all the prep work themselves, from building a stage to getting approval from the city. It was all worth it, Hornick says. “It is wonderful that the EFD is keeping the tradition alive, so residents in the community that you serve can come and enjoy. It is people serving people that makes it all happen.”
Excelsior Firefighters Dance
July 19, 5 p.m.-midnight
EFD Station 1
24100 Smithtown Road, Shorewood
Polka band 5-7 p.m., dance band 8-11 p.m.; free