Mountain Empire Shag Society

Mountain Empire Shag Society (commonly known as MESS) was loosely formed in late 1991 by a group of people who loved the shag
dance, the music, & the lifestyle  surrounding the music & the dance.  MESS had its first annual meeting in December 1992, & from
there we have just kept growing year by year.

MESS was accepted as a regular member into the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs in 1996.  The ACSC is the national association that
serves the purpose of perpetuating the shag dance & the music.  To find out more about the ACSC, check out their website at

MESS has grown from only a few members in 1991 to well over 100 members at the present time.

Our Purpose
We promote the shag dance, the music associated with the dance,
the friendships generated by the dance & the music, the continued existence
of the dance & the music, & the lifestyle of the shag dance world.

When We Meet
The club meets every Monday (except holidays) in the Reflections Lounge & Restaurant at Holiday Inn in Johnson City, Tennessee, &
the music starts at 7pm.  We provide free basic shag lessons around 8pm in the hallway next to the lounge.  Larry "Bigfish" Calhoun &
Gary "Big Daddy" Combs are our club DJs.  A typical Monday night will have 50 to 70 people in attendance & is naturally filled with shag
music along with a couple songs for line dances.  Things tend to wind down around 10pm because the DJs have "real" jobs they must
deal with on Tuesday morning.

The lounge has a full-service bar & waitress.  You can order a number of appetizers along with a full compliment of dinners if you're
really hungry.  Their food is really good & competitively priced.  Their drink prices are about average for a restaurant bar.   If you're
really picky about your drink, "top shelf" mixes are available.

We hope to see YOU on Monday nights!

Our Parties
We typically have four parties each year.  Three of them are one-day events not heavily advertised.  We have a winter party in
mid-March, a summer party in August, & a Christmas party in December.  These parties are typically FREE for members in good
standing & a reasonable charge for non-members.  The party includes beer, wine, setups, MESS-aholic punch, & primary food.  The
members are asked to bring a covered dish of some sort to add variety to the meal.  You will be overwhelmed at the wonderful
assortment of salads, side items, & desserts that the members bring.

Annual two-day Fall Bash party in October
This is our annual two-day party that is held in October.
It is limited to 224 people, & we have sold out  the last SIX years.  
For 2013, the party sold out in THREE days in February when tickets went on sale.  
See the MESS Parties page for the details about this party.  
It's a really fun event, & you won't want to miss the Fall Bash after you've attended the first time.  
Hope to see YOU at the Fall Bash!

SOS - What is it????
Well, SOS is correctly known as Society of Stranders & came about in the early 1980's because of a desire of old beach bums, life
guards, hot dog vendors, umbrella attendants, & various other teenager beach maniacs from the 50's & 60's to have a reunion.  The
first one was an overwhelming success & has grown immensely over the years to what it is today.  None of the original bunch had a
clue that it would turn out to be the huge event it is in this day & time.

What it is today?
SOS now happens three times a year in the Main Street area of North Myrtle Beach (uhhh, that's South Carolina if you ain't from around
here).  These are the ultimate shag & beach parties because they are happening in several shag clubs over the span of several days.

Spring Safari
Spring Safari typically starts on the 3rd Friday of April & ends 10 days later on Sunday.  The participating clubs have various functions
during this time with live bands, shag contests, & on the last Saturday, they have the SOS Spring Safari Parade.  This parade is the
most outrageous thing you'll see with the exception of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  It's a lot like our Fun Fest parade, but it's geared
more toward an adult audience & also geared to the shag dance & the music.  It is a wonderful spring celebration that you surely don't
want to miss!!!

Fall Migration
Fall Migration typically starts on the 3rd Friday of September, & like Spring Safari, ends 10 days later on Sunday.  Same clubs do the
same things as they did in the spring without the parade.  The big difference is Fun Sunday & Fun Monday.  Both days feature live
Carolina beach & R&B bands outdoors.  Fun Sunday is held on 1st Avenue right beside O.D. Arcade & Lounge (Bigfish's hangout & DJ
place).  Fun Monday is held right in the middle of Main Street (yeah, the street is blocked off to protect the drivers).  These events are
similar to our Fun Fest concerts because they are all about bringing lawn chairs & blankets.  Once again, it's another grand
celebration, & a great way to wind down the end of summer.

At one time this party was only for ACSC shag club members, but it's popularity eventually changed it into a mini-SOS.  It typically takes
place starting on the 2nd Thursday of January & only lasts until the following Sunday.  The big thing here is...the party is intense!!!  
Everything is compacted into just a few days, & it is wide open.  Again, it's a great way to celebrate...whatever you want to celebrate.

SOS Cards
You must have an SOS card to attend these events.  You can get them from our club secretary or from the ACSC.  See our secretary
for more information.  The SOS card costs $30 per year thru the club or $35 per year at the beach.  It is good from Jan to Dec & can get
you lots of good discounts at various businesses in the shag world.

We sell raffle tickets to support an SOS children's charity & to cover the costs of having the LIVE bands at Fun Sunday & Fun Monday.  
Be sure to buy one from our club officers who sell them.  You have really goods odds (especially compared to state / national lotteries)
of winning several thousand dollars, keeping the great beach / R&B bands coming & supporting a wonderful children's charity.

The purpose of the Icon Award is to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions within their own local (Full
Member, A.C.S.C.) shag club. Nominees for this award have made significant efforts and contributions to their local shag club & are
clearly outstanding members of the shag community. Although some of these nominees may go on to be well known in the shag world
(the A.C.S.C. or S.O.S., the C.S.A., the DJ Association, etc.) many of these individuals may not be known outside of their own club. This
award has come to be one of the most highly prized awards that a shagger can attain.

Our shag club member, Larry "Bigfish" Calhoun, received this award in 2008.

Click the link below to see more information about how the award is chosen &
to see the people who have been selected for the award since the inception.
ACSC Shagging Icon Awards & Members
Mountain Empire
Shag Society
WEBSITE UPDATED Monday, March 23, 2015
2015 Fall Bash
October 16th and 17th
Tickets now on sale.  Of 224 tickets, only 8
0 tickets left.
Go to the MESS Parties page for details.
Brenda and Wendel Boyd
2012 Inaugural Recipients
Lifetime Achievement Award
Larry and Debbie Calhoun
2013 Recipients
Lifetime Achievement Award
* MESS Photo Directory updated 03/13
* More MESS Spring Party pictures are posted