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Father/Daughter Dances draw large crowds | SLIDESHOW
MARYSVILLE — The Cedarcrest Middle School cafeteria has remained as much of a packed house as ever for the annual city of Marysville Parks and Recreation Department’s ninth annual Father/Daughter Dances, which have booked a near-record total of 840 for the Saturday evenings of Feb. 1 and 8, with two separate dances slated for each night, as always.
Clear Image Photography of Marysville again provided portraits of the dads and daughters dressed in their finest on the eve of Valentine’s Day, while Seattle DJ Canon Snyder took pride in having provided the music and taught the dance moves for all nine years of the Father/Daughter Dances.
“We love to find ways to support local communities, and this community gets so into this event,” said Snyder, who arrived with his wife. “We can take care of people while enjoying ourselves at the same time. It took a few years for us to convince the dads they could learn the dances we were teaching without them looking dorky, but they’ve gotten into it.”
“The John Travolta is fun, because it gets you loose,” said Jeff Miller, referring to Snyder’s line-dance set to the tune of “Staying Alive.” The Marysville dad donned a Seattle Seahawks jersey to join his daughter Ava for their second year at the Father/Daughter Dances on Feb. 1, and echoed many other fathers in praising the city of Marysville for providing an opportunity for them to spend some time with their daughters.
“It’s really great that the city can put this together,” agreed Michael Edwards, who has accompanied his daughter Brianna, now 11, to five years of the Father/Daughter Dances. “It can be really hard to find daddy/daughter time during busy work weeks, so just having this time together means a lot.”
Doug Cannon estimated that he’s attended at least half a dozen years, while his 12-year-old daughter Makenna teasingly chided him for the one year that he waited until too late to purchase their tickets.
“I made sure not to make that mistake again,” Doug Cannon laughed. “We love getting some dinner and then coming here to make memories that we’ll be able to share.”
Maryke Burgess and Andrea Kingsford, of the Marysville Parks and Recreation Department, explained that the first dance on Feb. 1 had already sold out within the first 10 days of registration, while three of the four dances were sold out within three weeks of going on sale, and the last dance on Feb. 8 sold out in January.
“There were wait-lists of up to 20 people for all of the dances, but we were able to get some of the participants off the wait-list by starting the 5:30 p.m. sessions early with the photographer,” Kingsford said. “For those families who still want a father/daughter experience for this year, we encourage them to check out our friends at Everett Parks and Recreation, who still have openings for their father/daughter dances.”
Kingsford and Burgess praised not only Snyder and Clear Image Photography, but also Bob’s Burgers & Brew, Golden Corral, HomeStreet Bank, the Marysville Kiwanis Club and, new to the event this year, The Cottages at Marysville, for their role in helping keep the price of admission for the dances relatively low over the years.
“We’re also proud of what this event has done for the community in general,” Burgess said. “Over these two weekends, we know that many businesses experience some economic benefits, as girls buy dresses, floral shops make more corsages, restaurants see lots of daddy/daughter groups eating out, and salons do hair and nails for lots of customers. More importantly, we love that people can create lasting memories together.”
Burgess reported that a number of the high school volunteers, who helped check the guests’ coats, told her that they also attended the dances with their dads when they were younger.
“We have girls who are now mothers, coming to the dances with their own daughters,” Burgess said. “It’s come full circle.”
Kingsford agreed with Burgess that the dances have become an event that fathers and daughters look forward to all year long, as she relayed her own anecdote about how much an evening out can mean to some families.
“One dad called to register, and explained that their family friends had recently gone through a divorce, and that family’s father had since moved out of state,” Kingsford said. “The local dad knew how much this dance meant to his daughter’s friend, so he brought both girls to carry on the tradition.”
Looking ahead, while the city of Marysville is still working out how to accommodate the numerous requests it’s received for a similar mother/son type of activity, in the meantime, Parks and Recreation is inviting the community to its first “Princess and Pirate Breakfast Bowl” from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, March 2, at the Strawberry Lanes, during which families can dress up, compete in costume contests, create crafts, and enjoy both breakfast and bowling. Admission is $15 per person and preregistration is required. For information or to register online, please visit “Parks & Rec ePlay” at http://marysvillewa.gov, or call the Parks and Recreation Offices at 360-363-8400.