Step back (or forward) in time at Hillsboro Historical Society fundraiser Oct. 14.

There's a place you can go once a year where Star Trek characters and Victorian ladies mingle — where the past and the future intersect.

The Hillsboro Historical Society's Time Travelers' Ball is the perfect place to leave the present-day worries and responsibilities behind for an evening and step in to a proverbial time machine.

The Time Travelers' Ball is a different sort of arts and culture event, says Hillsboro Historical Society President Kay Demlow. It's one where you're a participant, not an audience member.

It's simple: Show up in a costume from any era (or even from the future). Or, don't wear a costume at all. It's more about the social dancing and socializing, Demlow said.

It's also a fun way to learn about fashion history. "You never know," Demlow said. "People get very creative. There's a community-building aspect. People talk to each other about their costumes and make connections."

This year's ball theme is "Dancing Through the Ages." Demlow and crew hope to promote the event as family-friendly. Refreshments will be served and there will be no alcoholic beverages. "We're encouraging families with kids to come. It's educational as well as fun and festive," Demlow added.

At the top of each hour during the evening, there will be a short dance lesson where ball-goers will — quite literally — dance through the ages.

Starting at 7 p.m., caller Kathryn Plett will be on hand to teach and call simple dances from the Middle Ages. At 8 p.m., dancers will travel to the late 18th century — think Jane Austen's era.

Dance Master Guy Holladay takes the reins at 9 p.m., with tips and tricks of 19th-century dance. And at 10 p.m., he'll teach the basics of swing dance.

The best part: You don't need to know how to dance at all. "Everyone is welcome. No one is judging you on how well you dance," Demlow said.

The Time Travelers' Ball started in 2009, the brainchild of Hillsboro resident Rikki Nyman who, along with Demlow, spent many hours trying to save the former J.B. Thomas Middle School building (originally Hillsboro High School) on Hillsboro's Northeast Lincoln Street, from demolition.

"When the school was demolished, we were in a funk," Demlow said. So Nyman turned her energy to creating a positive event to celebrate history, and the Time Travelers' Ball was born.

The ball will once again be held at the Odd Fellow's Hall in Hillsboro — itself a historic building with a "a wonderful dance floor. It's perfect," Demlow said.

Rumor has it there will be celebrity visits by costumed actors during the evening.

It's also a chance for people from various historic interest groups to come together, Demlow said. It's not often Civil War re-enactment enthusiasts meet up with Jane Austen Society folks.

But it's fun when it happens. "Come with an open mind," Demlow recommends — after all, history is more fun when you get to be a part of it.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Hillsboro Historical Society.

  • IF YOU GO:

    What: Time Travelers' Ball, "Dancing Through the Ages"

    When: 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14

    Where: Odd Fellows Lodge, 267 E. Main St., Hillsboro

    Tickets: $15 in advance; $20 at the door


    By Kathy Fuller
    Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times/Hillsboro Tribune
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