Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers

preserving the cultural tradition of Irish ceili and set dancing since 1991

About Us: Cold Blast Hits Tree Lighting

Irish dancing can be cool, within limits

‘Twas two weeks before Christmas
And all through Southern States’ parking lot
Not a creature was stirring except thirteen frozen RKIDs.

On December 11, 1993, the Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers performed at the Gaithersburg City annual Christmas tree lighting.  The RKIDs assembled in a darkened Southern States’ parking lot prepared to entertain a rousing crowd of holiday revelers.  The only trouble was, no one told the weatherperson to schedule a decent day.  Consequently, by performance time, the thermometer was near freezing, and the wind chill was near zero and hardly anyone was around.  However, as they say in show biz, “The show must go on.” So, we danced.

It was so cold, some watched from their cars. To get a livelier audience, we gathered a small group for an audience participation dance, but they soon wimped out and moved to warmer places. (It couldn’t have been lack of interest.)  Things were so bad even the High Cauled Cap tape broke.

Luckily, due to some quick reaction that day, there were white ear muffs for the ladies and green hats for the gents (one blew off). To keep warm we stepped quickly and finished just before frostbite set in.

Although the crowd was small, it was a great time of camaraderie.  Thanks go to the following hardly dancers and new member of the Order of the Blue Shamrocks:  Pat Lynch (she was the bluest of the blue), Katie and Tara McGlone (they gave excellent step dances), Emmett Murphy, Obie and Marilyn O’Brien, Cindy McGlone, Mary Ann Brodeur, Sharon Patane, Carl Withee, and instructor Jean Murphy.

Where were numbers twelve and thirteen? Jean Withee, with an injured foot, and Patrick McGlone made sure we had at least two in audience.  In their usual “can do” fashion, Marilyn and Obie provided spur of the moment refreshments after the performance. Many thanks to all who participated.


By Carl Withee
Taken from The Real Reel News: Official Journal of the Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers, February 1994

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