Get out the dancing shoes, Langley

Live summertime entertainment, some of it taking place outdoors, is coming to the South End.

Live summertime entertainment, some of it taking place outdoors, is coming to the South End.

Although the Langley Main Street Association announced that it will not be putting on the annual Langley Street Dance this year, the dancing will continue.

Business owner Callahan McVay, with the help of former mayor Tim Callison, is organizing and funding the joyous event, which will look and feel similar to years past.

McVay, who is also the president of the Langley Main Street Association, said the organization made the decision not to host the popular event. Some members of the association were concerned it would be inconsiderate to have what may be a widely attended event so close to a pandemic.

But McVay decided to host the event on his own, pointing to the lifting of Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 restrictions and a way for the community to come together after a long time apart as valid reasons to break out those dancing shoes.

“I didn’t want to let it die on the vine,” McVay said.

The annual tradition started out as part of the Choochokam Arts festival, which dates back 45 years. The Langley Main Street Association and the city of Langley worked together to adopt the Langley Street Dance when the arts festival stopped hosting it, starting in 2016.

“I panicked because I didn’t want to be the mayor that lost the street dance,” said Callison, who was mayor at the time.

He and McVay, who worked together on the first Langley Street Dance hosted by the city and the association, have joined forces on their own to hold the event this year.

In recent years, the dance has taken place in the Second Street plaza outside of McVay’s glass-blowing business and studio, Callahan’s Firehouse.

That’s where it will be this year. Second Street will be partially closed the day of the event, which runs 6-8 p.m. Saturday, July 10. Janie Cribbs and the T.Rust Band will be performing two sets.

McVay said he anticipates that there may be some pushback against the event. Just last month, the city council made the decision to rescind a mask mandate that applied to people outdoors in downtown Langley.

For those with concerns, McVay said people can either listen to the music far away from a different street, or don’t come at all.

The event has always been free of charge, although donations are welcome. This year, McVay and Callison took on the fundraising themselves.

The dancing will also continue this summer outside the Cash Store, at a series of free street dance events starting July 14. Every other Wednesday from 6-8 p.m., people will be able to listen to live entertainment from Whidbey performers, including Rubatano Marimba, PETE the BAND, Western Heroes and more.

Although not outdoors, the Machine Shop in Langley is also cranking up the sound with some rock band performances.

Tim Leonard, the owner of the arcade, said there are three family-friendly concerts planned so far for this summer and fall.

The first show will be July 17, which is also the sixth anniversary of the Machine Shop. Starting at noon, all of the machines will be free to play on that day. Bands Eva and Partial Sun will be playing that night, 6-10 p.m.

Another show on July 30 will be led by Dr. Chef and guests. A third show, planned for Oct. 2, will feature Oak Harbor punk rock band Potbelly.

All shows are free, with donations directly supporting the musical talent.

More in News

Little Oaks Preschool (Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)
Cost, accessibility of child care raises concerns on Whidbey

The high cost and sparse availability of child care are serious public health challenges on Whidbey.

County commissioners rescind COVID bonuses

Money will likely still be coming to county employees, just in a different form.

Photo by Emily Gilbert
Suicides at bridge renew interest in nets

Recent deaths at the Deception Pass Bridge have renewed calls for barriers to prevent more suicides.

Murderer of deputies continues appeals pro se

A man who killed two deputies 34 years ago is still trying to appeal his murder convictions.

Former county commissioner diagnosed with case of breakthrough COVID-19

Helen Price Johnson is crediting the vaccine for how mild her case has been.

Brian Read
Eviction lawyer booked into jail weeks after his disbarment

Brian Read, 45, of Freeland, pleaded guilty Monday to vehicular assault while under the influence.

Traffic, utility rate studies planned for city of Langley

Langley will participate in studies on speeding on Sixth Street and affordability of utility rates.

Maureen Greene displays a sign and distributes informational papers opposing the Black Lives Matter banner at the June 11 protest. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)
School board member threatens to sue students

Damian Greene is threatening legal action against students for an online post he claims is libelous.

Oak Harbor man sent to prison for assault of mother, ex-wife

An Oak Harbor man threatened to shoot his mother and ex-wife and hit his ex-wife twice with his car.

Most Read