Prairie du Rocher continues Twelfth Night Ball tradition

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Pictured at center, Waterloo attorney Otto Faulbaum and his wife, Charlene, “sashay” between two lines of dancers during the Twelfth Night Ball at the American Legion Hall in Prairie du Rocher on Saturday. Like most other attendees, the Faulbaums are clad in traditional garb of the area’s pre-colonial period. Faulbaum and his wife reside in Millstadt.

Prairie du Rocher has held a Twelfth Night Ball for centuries. The tradition waned during World War II, when most of the area’s men were called to military service, and was largely dead for decades after the war’s end until restarting in the 1970s.

Dancing — waltzes, polkas, schottisches, reels and square dances — got under way after a grand march, and the dance floor filled with participants of all ages. A caller directed the dancers and simultaneously taught many newcomers the necessary steps and directions, while a traditional band provided the music.

The band, Cousin Curtis and the Cash Rebates, has played this event for more than 30 consecutive years.

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