The month of June is upon us. I invite you to remember a special time that was the highlight of the Rocky Mount’s social calendar. Consider this your personal invitation, which you must have, to dance the night away at the annual June German dance. You will need a beautiful dress, your tux cleaned and pressed, and the arm of your best girl or handsome boy. Image with me that preparations are underway once again by members of the Carolina Cotillion Club. Workers are transforming a tobacco warehouse with colored steamers and balloons hanging from the ceiling. Elegant banquet tables help turn the warehouse into a ballroom. This may be one of the years that professional decorating companies are brought in. In a Saturday Evening Post article: the tobacco warehouse has been “transformed for the night into a sufficiently satisfactory Southern version of wonderland.”
How did this amazing production get started? September 29, 1870 the citizens of Rocky Mount, NC gave a dance for their friends in the surrounding counties. It was called the “Grand Celebration Ball.” It was a great success and the organizers decided to make such dances an annual event. The dance was eventually moved to the month of June in 1880 and in 1903 the Carolina Cotillion Club renamed it June German. (In antebellum times dances were called balls. After the Civil War they were called Germans. Dances were called German cotillions when reintroduced in New York society in 1854) The June Germans were traditionally held on Friday nights. The young girls and their dates started a round of parties that will climaxed with the June German dance.
More June German Memories – Part 2 – Tomorrow – Join me