Do-si-do your partner, and mosey on down to the "Hoedown in Downtown," an old-fashioned, family-style event sponsored by the Downtown Torrance Assn. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Down-home country is the theme of this year's Friendship Festival, and visitors may barely recognize downtown Torrance beneath the bales of hay and scores of square dancers, said Joel McCloud, one of the organizers of the event.
Styled after turn-of-the-century hoedowns, the festival begins with the Torrance Mounted Posse parade at 11 a.m. down El Prado Avenue toward Sartori Avenue. Riders will present the state and city flags to local dignitaries as part of the event's opening ceremonies.
Once the formalities are over, grab your sweetheart and hop aboard the free hayride, or two-step over to one of the two entertainment stages for tips in the latest country dance moves.
Now circle back and promenade! If square dancing is your calling, you may want to wander by demonstrations of traditional American folk dance, which will be held throughout the day.
Seven bands will provide an all-day soundtrack. The music program will include Zydeco Party Band, offering a danceable Cajun sound; the Witcher Brothers, presenting bluegrass music via their 15-year-old fiddler, and the Mustangs, an all-female group performing classic country.
Two groups, Western Union and American Made, will play country music especially for dancing. Dance lessons will be offered between sets, and hoofers can practice and then strut their stuff when the bands take the stage again.
The Torrance Police Department band, Beyond the Law, will also offer its version of country. For the younger set, the South Bay Firefighters Band will perform educational numbers in the Kids Corral.
The corral also offers craft activities for children, and cow girls and boys can saddle up for free pony rides. Old-time games such as horseshoes and ring toss can be enjoyed for free by the whole family.
Check out food booths set up by some of the downtown restaurants or try the farmers' market for a sampling of fresh produce and other snacks.
If you don't want to leave without a souvenir of the day, you may want to take home one of the authentic cowboy hats and sheriff's badges for sale, or snap a photo of the family aboard the Wells Fargo stagecoach.
Most of the action will take place on El Prado Avenue between Cravens and Sartori avenues, but the festivities will extend to the entire downtown business district bounded by Sartori, Post, Marcelina and Cravens avenues and including El Prado Park. Only Post Avenue will be open to traffic.
The event is sponsored by the American Honda Motor Co., Pacific Bell and Gascon Mar Ltd./ANA Real Estate U.S.A. Information: (310) 320-8540 or (310) 328-7549.