Benefit hoedown tomorrow for locals with bad water

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The Lawrenceville Autumn Hoedown proposes social dancing and other old-school carnival-style fun as a way to aid Butler County residents who say their drinking water has been fouled by gas drilling.

Residents of Woodlands say their well water became undrinkable in January 2011, shortly after gas drillers began operations in the area, including hydraulic-fracturing (“fracking”).

Tests by both the driller and the state Department of Environmental Protection failed to link the bad water to gas extraction. But Woodlanders still can’t drink their water.

The event, organized by the Shadbush Environmental Justice Collective, supports the Woodlands fund for fresh water and water testing.

Shadbush is active in anti-fracking work, including the plight of Lawrence County farmer Maggie Henry.

The hoedown’s at a former church in Lawrenceville, at 39th Street and Mintwood.

The BYOB event includes contra dancing to a live band featuring caller Cindy Harris.

Don’t know what contra dancing is, or how to do it? “An introductory pre-dance lesson is offered at 8 p.m.,” according to the hoedown’s Facebook page, and walk-throughs will precede each number throughout the night.

In other words, you can come in cold.

Other hoedown attractions including a set by local brass band Lungs Face Feet, live music by Layne James, a “giant paint-by-number,” “win-a-pie musical chairs” and even a Dolly Parton Make-Up Booth.

Admission is $10.

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