Marys River Grange Hall in Philomath will be the site of country dances, bluegrass jams and even a get-together on Sept. 19 where you can talk like a pirate. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Editor’s note: This blog was updated from an earlier version with corrected dates for the country dances. The organizer also changed the adult admission cost for the bluegrass workshop/jam.

The Marys River Grange Hall in Philomath will be alive with music and events beginning in September through the efforts of local musician Yvonne McMillan, who wants to offer the community opportunities to get in some country dancing and bluegrass music, and even hopes to attract folks who might want to talk like a pirate.

Yvonne was a music teacher at Philomath Middle School up until her retirement in 2021. She’s very involved in the local music scene teaching voice and piano. She reached out to me last week about these plans she has for this fall out at Grange Hall. It all sounds like a pretty good time.

Here’s the rundown:

Country dances will run on selected Fridays (Sept. 2, Oct. 14, Nov. 4 and Dec. 2) and go from 7-10 p.m. The cost will be $5 for adults, $3 for youth 18 and under. Lessons will be offered over the first 30 minutes. Food will be available for purchase.

A bluegrass music workshop and jam session will be meeting on the second Wednesdays each month from 7-10 p.m. Those dates are Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9 and Dec. 14 and the cost will be $7 for adults, $5 for youth 18 and under. The instruction part of the evening begins at 7 p.m. and the jam will get going at 7:30. Anyone who wants to come out and listen can “donate as desired.”

The Talk Like a Pirate Day will run from 6-8:30 p.m. on Sept. 19. The event will feature a pirate costume contest for ages 12 and under with prizes to be awarded. And there will also be a Talk Like a Pirate contest for all ages with prizes. The event will also include live music with Possibly Irish from Enchanted Forest booked to perform.

The events are alcohol-free and you can pay at the door.

I wish Yvonne the best of luck with these events. And please, always check the Philomath News Community Calendar for reminders about these and other upcoming activities going on in our community.

By the way, if you have questions on any of these activities, fire off an email to Yvonne at

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.