Dancing in the dirt returns

By Hannah Turner | posted on February 22, 2021

Fairy lights will once again be strung across augers for the return of the Jerramungup Dancing in the Dirt Gala ball on March 27 at Needilup Oval.

Hosted by Fitzgerald Biosphere Group, with support from the Shire of Jerramungup, the event organisers hope to bring the community together after a couple of tough harvest seasons.

Fitzgerald Biosphere Group’s Jessica Bailey said 2019’s ball was a massive success in bringing the community together.

“We’ve had a couple of really hard seasons and droughts,” she said.

“Everyone was a bit low, the morale was down in the community, so we thought we would bring everyone together.

“The Shire of Jerramungup applied for some drought money which they got, so they approached us to hold another ball this year.”

The event will see 300 farmers and community members from Jerramungup and surrounding towns kicking off their work clothes and returning to the paddock in tuxes and ball gowns.

Perth band Moves Like Swagger and a comedian will be entertaining guests throughout the night while local chefs cook up lamb, yabbies and other produce from the area.

Esperance’s Lucky Bay Brewing will also whip up a batch of ‘Biosphere brew’ made out of local barley specially for the night.

Ms Bailey said other than through work and kid’s sport, there were limited ways for locals to connect.

“Just where we live, we don’t get the opportunity to do these kinds of things often,” she said.

“Our farms are getting bigger and bigger and our community is getting smaller and smaller.

“It’s just one night where we don’t have to worry about kids, as bad as that sounds, it just gives us that chance to let our hair down a little to be honest.”

This year’s event sold out in three weeks and Ms Bailey said the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group would love to make it a more regular occasion.

“Last year we had 200 [attendees], this year we are going to have 300,” she said.

“It’s surprising how many tickets I’ve sold from Albany, Williams, Lake Grace and quite far away. The word is spreading.”