A summertime happy dance has broken out across the Grand Valley.

School's out, the weather is warming and the festival and travel season is underway. I've scoured department stores and Amazon offerings in the effort to find the "perfect" carry-on bag for upcoming travels, but being overly frugal and picky is making that somewhat difficult.

Last month, when the weather was cool and rainy, I stayed in, cleaned out closets, boxed up books and bagged up unused bedding and clothing to donate. I loaded numerous boxes and bags into my car more than two weeks ago to drop off, but I haven't had a spare moment to do so.

Suddenly, the weather turned warm and the big black bag of blankets — sitting in the back seat — started flapping wildly when I cranked the window down for a cool breeze.

Flap, flap, flap. Ugh.

A lunchtime drive took me to Grande Rivers Humane Save a Pet Thrift Store on Orchard Mesa to drop off the books, blankets, oh, and some Christmas ornaments I forgot were in the trunk since January.

The angel choir sang as I stepped out of the car and saw the perfect carry-on bag among the thrift store wares. In one swoop, I donated goods to the animal rescue organization and saved time and money on my bag. Happy dance indeed.

(If your club or organization is on hiatus this summer, drop me a line and I'll put your weekly or monthly listings on snooze until you start up again in the fall).

Speaking of happy dancing, would you like to learn Scandinavian-style folk dancing for free?

Vestafjell Lodge ­— Sons of Norway have invited Ginny Lee, an experienced teacher and performer from California, to teach a Scandinavian folk dance workshop to beginners of all ages starting at  9:30 a.m. Saturday at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 3133 F Road.

The public is invited to what could be the beginning of a local folk dance group, a news release said. Lunch will be provided from noon to 1 p.m. with more instruction following from 1–3 p.m.

Pre-register with Barb at 245-5649 and leave a message with your phone number.

Visit vestafjelllodge.org or Facebook/Vestafjell Lodge 6-146 (Public Group) for information.

The Swedes of the Grand Valley will host its Midsummer Picnic from 4–7 p.m. June 9 at Hawthorne Park.

The picnic will include entertainment by Ginny Lee (see above item also), a leader and member of multiple Scandinavian dance groups in California. During the picnic, Lee will play her Swedish nyckelharpa (the official Swedish national instrument) and lead some traditional Swedish dancing.

"Ginny's goal is to help to start a Scandinavian dance group here in Grand Junction that will meet and dance regularly," a news release said.

Take a dish to share for the potluck. Pre-register by Tuesday to Jeanette at 241-2945.

HopeWest still has spots open for the Itty Bitty Camp from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Thursday at the HopeWest campus, 3090 N. 12th St.

The camp helps children in kindergarten through second grade who have lost a loved one. Children will engage in fun and helpful activities through creative detective work to help them address, express and cope with grief.

Call 245-5377 for information or to register a child.

The Western Colorado Chapter of Territorial Daughters of Colorado will host the annual state meeting Saturday at First Christian Church, 1326 N. First St.

Members from four chapters will convene for the business meeting and luncheon. There will be a program on the "Hobo Quilt," detailing "The Secret Sign Language of Hobos During the Great Depression."

Women ages 18 and older who are direct descendants of Colorado pioneers that were established in the Territory of Colorado before August 1, 1876, may join the organization.

The Western Colorado Chapter was organized July 17, 1980, in Grand Junction and became active in the preservation of Cross Orchards Historic Site, which they still support, the release said.

Call 242-6826 or email amjrileyt@acsol.net for information.

The Mesa County Cattlewomen will host its annual "Beef for Father's Day" fundraiser offering 5-pound roasts, pre-cooked by The Ribber.

The cost is $35 per roast. Supplies are limited and early reservation is encouraged. Proceeds will benefit youth in 4-H and FFA programs and educate the public about the contributions of agriculture.

Roasts will be available for pickup from 11 a.m.– 2 p.m. June 15 in the parking lot at Sportsman's Warehouse. Call 589-1419 to reserve a roast.

Former and current residents of Nucla, Naturita, Uravan, Paradox, Redvale and Norwood are invited to the ninth annual West End potluck picnic from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Park's Oak Shelter.

Take a side dish to share. Iced tea and water will be provided.

Call 434-7963 for information.

The Grand Junction High School class of 1964 will have its 55-year class reunion June 21–22.

A cash bar is planned for 5:30 p.m.  June 21 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, and a picnic is planned from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. June 22 at the Gunnison Shelter at Canyon View Park. Box lunches and beverages will cost $20.

Call Sandi Parker at 263-8087 for reservations.

Submit Calendar and community news items by email to communitynews@gjsentinel.com, by fax at 244-8578, or by mail to 734 S. Seventh St., Grand Junction, CO, 81501. Items to be considered for Your Town should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.

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