The Decades take final bow this Saturday at Danceland (AUDIO)

After 36 years of playing foxtrots, old time waltzes, polkas, and more The Decades will play their final show on Saturday night, February 15th at Danceland in Manitou Beach, SK. The group started in 1983 and featured musicians whose ages at the time covered six different decades, which gave rise to their name. Original members of the group included Arnold and Millie Strueby, Gordon Bregg, Terry Rugg, Rick Reithmeier, and Carla Rugg. Over the years new members became part of The Decades, but their iconic old time dance style remained the same, eventually becoming the house band at Danceland in 2001.

“It’s like a family up there,” proclaimed keyboard player Millie Strueby. “We all enjoy playing and we get together about six times a year right here at Danceland to play and it’s been a nice ride for us for 36 years.”

The Decades became well known across central Saskatchewan for their easy listening sound and continuous beat which enticed crowds to get up and dance at countless cabarets, weddings, and social events. Due to the age of some of the players, the group decided to make the difficult decision to retire from playing and will host their final show on Saturday evening. Their trumpet player is approaching 90 years young and their saxophone player isn’t much younger. Strueby acknowledges the fact that many of these old time dance bands are starting to fade away but the music, she says, still remains enjoyable among dance enthusiasts.

“It’s still quite popular with anybody who likes dancing because it’s so easy to dance to,” noted Strueby.

Listen to our full interview by clicking here.

The band has seen a lot of things from their vantage point on the stage, including one memorable moment Strueby says she’ll never forget.

“There was a lady who came in. Her two sons helped her into the hall, took her by the arm, brought her in, she sat down, and I think she had the meal. We always have a dine dance, and when the music started, they went out onto the floor, and she took off like a butterfly and she never stopped dancing,” chuckled Strueby.

While playing cabarets and socials were fun for them, it was Danceland that they enjoyed playing in the most over the years. The iconic dance hall in Manitou Beach was elegantly built in 1928 with a horsehair cushioned dance floor, great acoustics, and over 5 thousand square feet of space. The hall, owned by Arnie and Millie Strueby, remains open all year and it’s still a major attraction in the area.

Saturday night’s farewell to the band begins at 6 p.m. with a buffet supper that will require reservations. The Decades final performance will get underway at 8. Stueby says they plan to play until midnight.

“We have never turned anybody away, we might hang them on a hook, but we get them in there,” laughed Stueby.

(Photo submitted. The current line up for The Decades. Millie Strueby seated at keyboard)




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