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Contra Carnivale History
 BandsCallers
2006 Nightingale
Hillbillies from Mars
Syncopaths
Crabapples
 
George Marshall
Susan Michaels
Warren Blier
2007 Wild Asparagus
Hillbillies from Mars
The Body Snatchers
Michael's Mixed Nuts
 
George Marshall
Susan Michaels
Erik Hoffman
2008 Wild Asparagus
Hillbillies from Mars
Syncopaths
 
George Marshall
Susan Michaels
Joyce Miller
2009 Groovemongers
Crowfoot
Notorious
 
Rick Mohr
Nils Fredland
Susan Petrick
2010 Elixir
Nightingale
Notorious
 
Nils Fredland
George Marshall
Warren Blier
2011 Latter Day Lizards
Syncopaths
Wild Asparagus
 
Lisa Greenleaf
Seth Tepfer
George Marshall
2012 Tidal Wave
Elixir
Great Bear Trio
 
George Marshall
Nils Fredland
Susan Michaels
2013 Latter Day Lizards
Dr. Groove
Retrospectacles
 
Lisa Greenleaf
Will Mentor
Deb Comly
2014 Stringrays
Groovemongers
Nor'Easter
 
Cis Hinkle
Bob Isaacs
Jean Gorrindo
2015 Elixir
Wild Asparagus
Crowfoot
 
Nils Fredland
George Marshall
Lisa Greenleaf
2016 Latter Day Lizards
Stringrays
Syncopaths
 
Bob Isaacs
Nils Fredland
Susan Michaels
2017 Notorious
Joyride
Clew Bay
 
Bev Bernbaum
Erik Weberg
Erik Hoffman
2018 Jigjazz
Maivish
Riptide
 
Cis Hinkle
Frannie Marr
Jeremy Korr

January 18-20, 2019

San Luis Obispo, California

Elixir - Rhythm Raptors

Drive Train


Nils Fredland - Gaye Fifer

Kelsey Hartman


with Michael Gutin providing music during breaks
Please join us for our 14th annual Contra Carnivale, an almost-all-contra dance event in beautiful San Luis Obispo over Martin Luther King weekend. Since it coincides with the beginning of the season, we'll decorate in a Mardi Gras theme and encourage "Mardi Gras festive" attire - especially for the Saturday evening dance! Bring your sequins and feathers, and we'll supply beads for everybody!

Centrally located near the coast mid-way between the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo is a great place to visit. We'll fill your weekend with high-energy contra dancing, but recommend that you plan to spend Friday and/or Monday exploring & adventuring in the San Luis area on your own.


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Tentative Schedule


Friday:
6:00 Doors open
6:30 - 7:45Pre-Party and Social Dancing with Elixir
8:00 - 11:30Contra Dance: Drive Train with Gaye Fifer
Saturday:
9:00Doors open for continental breakfast
9:15-10:00Concert with Elixir
10:15 - 11:00Waltzing with Elixir
11:15 - 1:45Contra Dance: Drive Train with Kelsey Hartman
1:45 - 2:15LUNCH BREAK
2:15 - 5:00Contra Dance: Rhythm Raptors with Gaye Fifer
5:00 - 7:00DINNER BREAK
7:00 - 7:45Concert with Drive Train
8:00 - 11:30Contra Dance: Elixir with Nils Fredland
Sunday:
9:00Doors open for continental breakfast
9:15 - 10:00Concert with Rhythm Raptors
10:15 - 11:00Waltzing with Rhythm Raptors
11:15 - 1:45Contra Dance: Elixir with Nils Fredland
1:45 - 2:15LUNCH BREAK
2:15 - 5:00Contra Dance: Drive Train with Gaye Fifer
5:00 - 7:00DINNER BREAK
7:00 - 10:30Contra Dance: Rhythm Raptors with Kelsey Hartman
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Staff




Elixir blends driving fiddle and guitar with the rich texture and rhythmic excitement of a full horn section. Elegant melodies evolve into raucous dixieland horn riffs, while transcendent harmonies, playful improvisations, and rock, swing and reggae-inspired rhythms weave in and out of traditional and original Irish, French Canadian and New England tunes. Elixir is Anna Patton (clarinet/vocals), Ethan Hazzard-Watkins (fiddle), Jesse Readlynn (trumpet/flugelhorn), Owen Morrison (guitar/foot percussion), and Nils Fredland (calling/trombone/vocals)



Get ready to rock your contra dance socks off! The Rhythm Raptors is the hottest new(ish) musical group on the contra dance scene. Featuring well-known contra dance music monsters TJ Crow (mandolin), Rodney Miller (fiddle), Jeff Spero (piano), Mark "Pokey" Hellenberg (percussion), and Ralph Gordon (bass). You are in for the contra dance trance ride of your life! Their rhythm section is deeply and mysteriously groovy, TJ will drive you to mando madness, and Rodney will sweep you away to new heights of fiddlistic ecstasy. You'll feel it all right away. The stage will be full of musicians who have a lot of experience Taking Your Fun Seriously.



Drive Train is Ed Howe (fiddle), Edith Gawler (fiddle and banjo), Bennett Konesni (guitar), Stuart Kenney (bass), and Mark "Pokey" Hellenberg (percussion). DriveTrain, born out of love for community music and dance, plays traditional New England style tunes with a bluegrass drive and occasional bits of world music influence. Ed's legendary improvisational fiddle prowess is perfectly complemented by the deeply-rooted-in-tradition abilities of Edith and Bennett. Together they weave in and out of tunes, building energy and resolving tension to create beautiful and extremely danceable music. With Pokey and Stuart as a rock-solid rhythm section, DriveTrain will send you into contra euphoria!




Nils Fredland has been calling dances with admirable skill and infectious energy since 2000. Respected for his expertise as a teacher and caller, his sensitive leadership and generosity make Nils one of the busiest and most sought-after callers in the business. He draws on a large and varied repertoire of dances, presenting material from centuries-old "chestnuts" to cutting-edge contemporary choreography.

Gaye Fifer hasn't stopped dancing since she found contras in 1979 and she has been traveling to call and dance for the past 25 years. Gaye's instructions are clear and concise and her easy smile and delightful sense of humor are part of Gaye's relaxed, pleasant calling style.

Kelsey Hartman's playful exuberance is energizing, whether she's on the dance floor or behind the microphone. As a caller, Kelsey considers herself a conduit between the dancers and the band, helping to channel the joy of the music through flowing, interesting dances.





Michael Gutin's accordion music can best be described as "eccentric eclectic." He will play couple-dance tunes during the breaks between sets for those of you who just can't get enough dancing.

Returning to Contra Carnivale to work his magic, Victor Garza makes everyone sound their best.

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Accomodations & Food

A couple of nearby hotels are holding rooms for Contra Carnivale attendees. To reserve a room at our discounted rate, mention that you are attending Contra Carnivale when you call with your credit card. Note that these hotels are not necessarily the least expensive in the area, but they are decent and close and are typically full of Contra Carnivale attendees & staff. Some of the hotels have deadlines for receiving the discount, and many of them have a 30-day cancellation policy. While some hotels, such as University Inn (formerly Travelodge - same owners), fill early, there are often cancellations in December, so it might pay to check back with them later.

UNIVERSITY INN, 1825 Monterey Street: (805)543-5110

LEXINGTON INN, 2050 Garfield Street: (805)549-9911

LAMPLIGHTER INN AND SUITES, 1604 Monterey Street: (805)547-7777

Also relatively inexpensive and within a 5-minute walk of the hall:

SUPER 8 1951 Monterey Street: 805-544-7895

LOS PADRES INN, 1575 Monterey Street: (805) 543-5017

VILLA MOTEL, 1670 Monterey Street: (805)543-8071

There are several other motels close by: Here's a comprehensive listing.

A somewhat less expensive alternative is HOSTEL OBISPO, which is about a mile from the hall.

Camping is available at several County parks and State parks in the area. Reservations are required.


With the exceptions of continental breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings, no meals are included as part of Contra Carnivale, but there are a great many good restaurants in the area. Abundant beverages and snacks are provided throughout the weekend.

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Registration Information

Click here to download a pdf application that you can fill in on your computer, or here for a blank pdf application.

Pre-registration is required and applications will be accepted in the order they are sent (determined by postmarks). The cost for the weekend is $150 per dancer. Up to ten half-price ($75) scholarships are available for dancers under 30 (chosen randomly from among those who apply). If more dancers than we can accommodate apply in the first few days, acceptances will be allocated by lottery from among all those postmarked between September 10 and 12 inclusive. In recent years, we have had long waiting lists, but most people eventually got in. No guarantees though - it's different every year! Acceptances (or waiting list notifications) will be sent by email shortly after receipt of your application. If you don't hear from us within a month or so, please check in - we may have mis-typed your address. Your check will not be deposited until/unless you are accepted.

IMPORTANT: Again, we go by POSTMARK. If your postmark is early or late, you will not be included in the lottery (if one is necessary - it usually is) and you'll be placed on the waiting list.

Children/Pets: All children must be registered to attend the weekend. Children under 5 years old may attend at no charge. Older children and non-dancing childcare helpers pay $75 per person for the weekend and may avail themselves of refreshments and attend the concerts.

Children must be supervised at all times and must not be allowed to disrupt concerts or dancing. Children may play or sleep in the lounge, although they will not have exclusive use of the room - others might be playing music or napping in the same area. During the day, children and their caregivers may sit in the main hall seating area to watch the dancing, but may only occupy one seat per person. Non-dancers are not allowed in the main hall during the evening dances, when space for dancers is at a premium. Running and/or shouting in the hallways is not allowed. Parents/caregivers must clean up after their children.

Also, unfortunately, not everyone loves our pets as much as we do. For the comfort and safety of all, we must ask that you refrain from bringing any non-service animals into the building.

Cancellations/Refunds: After December 18, 2018, refunds for cancellations will be contingent upon our ability to fill your spot. We charge a $20 per person administrative fee on all cancellations. Acceptances are not transferable. No refunds on cancellations after January 16, 2019.

To register, send application and a check (payable to CCCDS) to our registrar, Cynthia Boche, at the address below. If you are unable to open the pdf registration form, just send your very-clearly-printed name, badge name (if different), address, email address, and phone number and indicate whether we can print your information on the event roster.

Please send your registration by plain old first-class mail unless you are someplace where it really would be unlikely to get here that way within a week or so. Use a regular-size envelope. Large envelopes get stuck in the mailbox, which is annoying. Please don't use staples - also annoying. If you won't be near a post office at the right time, just ask a trusted friend to mail for you.

CCCDS - Contra Carnivale
c/o Cynthia Boche
P.O. Box 173
Hyampom, CA 96046


Please get in touch with Cynthia at carnivale@cccds.org if you have questions.

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Directions

CCCDS's Contra Carnivale will be held at the San Luis Obispo Veterans' Memorial Building at 801 Grand Avenue. You'll recognize it by the ginormous tank sitting out front!
From the South: Take the Grand Avenue (Cal Poly) exit from Highway 101. Turn right onto Grand Avenue and look for the Vets' Hall on the right between Mill & Palm Streets.

From the North: Take the Monterey Street (Cal Poly) exit from Highway 101. Turn left across the freeway, then turn right onto Monterey Street. Turn right on Grand Avenue at the first light, then almost immediately left into the Vets' Hall parking lot.
Map of 801 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401



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Discussion Forum

facebook
Join the Contra Carnivale Facebook group to discuss the event, post photos, arrange carpools, find roommates for the weekend, etc.

Or, if you're not on Facebook, try the Google Group.

Sign up for our email list to receive announcements/reminders about registration for Contra Carnivale.


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