UPDATED: Annual Aldergrove Ceilildh postponed ‘until healthier times’

Proceeds from dancers, pipers, and stew were to go back towards preserving Coghlan hall

Aldergrove’s annual St. Patrick’s day celebration, scheduled for this Sunday, has now been cancelled due to concern over COVID-19, which has reached pandemic-levels, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Irish dancing, bagpipe reverberations, and hearty stew will no longer liven up north Aldergrove this Sunday.

But in “healthier times,” organizer Bob Long said, a Ceilildh will be put on in an effort to continue to preserve the 100-year-old hall.

It’s a result of the provincial government’s recent announcement to ban public gatherings due to fears of the virus spreading, Long added.

“We’re following suit,” he said.

“We look forward to when we can all celebrate together again.”

[Story continues below last year’s dance performance]

Coghlan hall, first built in 1920, has been a gathering place over the years for dance and music as well as community classes taught on its sprung floor of wood.

Groups, including Abbotsford-based Sionnaine Irish Dance Academy, enjoy the springy feel of the floor as they perform complex footwork and high kicks.

Long, also a Langley Township councillor, said the first year they threw the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, in 2017, it was hard to find Irish dancers.

“But after we booked the first group, now they contact me well in advance to schedule themselves in,” he explained about the first Coghlan Ceilidh five years ago.

“And people love to see them dance,” Long added.

RELATED: Celebrating Irish history at Aldergrove’s Coghlan hall

The show will kick off at 4:15 p.m.

Along with guest piper Steve Gallagher, the night’s feature entertainment was. to include Celtic-Irish-Scottish band The Mad Celts – piper Joe McDonald, fiddler Mike Sanyshyn, and Craig McGregor – who cover feel-good songs.

Proceeds from the event were to go towards further preservation of the hall.

“Think of the event as a way of keeping the lights on, with annual maintenance costs including parking lot upkeep,” Long explained.

In recent years, the society has added a few modern conveniences to the hall, like upgrades to its downstairs kitchen, new toilets, and new floors in its bathrooms.

For more information those with tickets can email irish@ee4.net. The hall is located at 6795 256th St.

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