The Northeast Florida Square and Round Dance Association
Fall Festival

It was November 13, 1954
The Location was the Pythian Center
The Caller was Bill Camp

Thus began the history of one of the oldest Square Dance Festivals in the State of Florida .  On the program that first year were such numbers as "Take a Little Peek", "Birdy in a Cage" and "Arkansas Traveler".  Round Dances included "Black Hawk Waltz" and "Jessie Polka".  How many dancers today could Square or Round Dance to these tunes?

The Second and third dances in 1955 & 1956 took place in the Jewish Center under the leadership of Bill & Nora Camp.  In 1957 Bill turned the festival over to the newly organized Northeast Florida Dancers Association.

Not many dancers remain who attended the first Fall Roundup in 1954 or still remember dancing to the "Father of the Fall Festival", Bill (and Nora) Camp.  Bill passed away in 1979 and Nora in 1988.

From 1954 until 1962 the Fall Festival was staffed by local callers and Round Dance Leaders with the exception of 1958 when National Caller Jim Pierson called at the Garden Center.  in 1962 the Roundup began featuring National Callers on a regular basis.

The Roundup became a weekend with local Caller and Cuers handling the Friday night program and National Callers featured on Saturday.  The first weekend event was held at the Civic Auditorium and featured Johnny Creel of New Orleans.

The Format changed in 1973 to feature National Callers and Cuers on both night of the Roundup.  This two-caller format continued until 1989.  During the late '80's the hiring of two National Callers began to seriously deplete the treasury of the Association.  In 1990 the name was changed to the Fall Festival and the format was returned to its original concept of Northeast Callers and Cuers on Friday night with a National Caller and Cuer featured on the Saturday program.  The event has remained a profitable endeavor since then.

In 1994 the Friday night program became a "Theme Dance" featuring a parade of clubs.

If you have any information that you would like to have included in the History of the NEFSARDA please send it to

Bruce Morgan
(407) 339-3121

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