Strawberry Festival Preview: Caller with local ties to lead festival square dances

By Audrey Caro

Lebanon Local

The Lebanon Square Circlers have a special caller for their 69th annual Strawberry Festival dance.

Andy Garboden, a Lebanon native who now calls dances and teaches line dancing in Washington, will do the honors on Saturday night.

“Last summer I contacted Andy about calling for our festival dance,” said Square Circler Wanda Frenzel. “Since he grew up in Lebanon, we wanted to welcome him home as he is a hometown boy who went on to become a square dance caller.”

Garboden graduated from Lebanon Union High School in 1980. His wife Tricia (Henne) graduated from LUHS in 1986. The couple now lives in Kent, Wash.

“I was thrilled and honored when asked to call for the Strawberry Festival,” Garboden said.

He attended all the Strawberry Festivals from 1972 to 1980, he said, and a few since then.

“This is my first time calling for the Strawberry Festival,” Garboden said. “I have called for the Sweet Home club before.”

The Garbodens enjoy traveling in their RV to different square dance events.

“I have a goal to call a dance or festival in all 50 states,” Garboden said. “I will be calling for the USA West Convention in Reno, Nev. in August.”

Garboden said he wants to make sure everyone has a great time at the Saturday dance.

“I like to ensure everyone is successful, challenged, but still have a great time,” Garboden said. “I believe they will enjoy some pretty good singing as well. I have sung for most of my life and played in the Jazz Ensemble while in high school.”

Garboden is looking forward to returning to Lebanon for Strawberry Festival weekend.

Specifically, “reconnecting with friends and showing off the talent that LUHS produces,” he said.

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Lebanon Square Circlers will kick the Strawberry Festival Square Dance Weekend off with a “Trails End Dance” potluck at 6 p.m. followed by a dance at 8 p.m. Friday, June 1, at the Lebanon Senior Center, 80 Tangent St.

Dancers will be featured in the Strawberry Festival Parade Saturday, and the main square dance will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at the Lebanon Senior Center.

A potluck that day will begin at 5 p.m., followed by round and advanced square dancing before the main dance.

Charlotte Jeskey will be the caller for the Friday night dance. Jackie Gale will cue round dancing on both Friday and Saturday night.

Andy Garboden will call Saturday night.

There also will be a spaghetti feed on Friday night, and Saturday evening’s activities will include a potluck.

Both dances will includea silent auction and “experienced clothing” sale. Funds raised from the silent auction assist in promoting square dance lessons which begin on Sept. 16, 2018 at the IOOF Lodge Hall in Lebanon. Singles, families and couples are welcome.

The weekend will finish off with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, June 3, at the Lebanon Senior Center.

Cost is $5 per person Friday, $6 per person Saturday, and $12 for a family of three or more.

For more information, contact Kaynor Heineck at (541) 401-9780, or visit www.lebanonsquarecirclers.com.