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Father, daughter dance draws large crowd

MARYSVILLE — The Cedarcrest School hosted the fourth-annual father/daughter Valentine’s dance, whose second night was a week after Valentine’s Day itself.

The dances are organized through the city of Marysville Parks and Recreation Department, and sponsored by a host of local individuals and organizations. Event co-coordinator Maryke Burgess explained that the dance is so popular that it has to be split up into two nights, with two dances on each night.

“We have 180 people per dance, and there’s so much going on with this dance,” Burgess said. “We have a wait list of more than 150 people, so it’s a pretty special event.”

Burgess pointed to the event as a way for fathers and daughters to spend quality time together, while getting dressed up and dancing. She described the fliers that are sent to schools, to promote the dance, as excitement-builders for the girls.

“The week before the dance, all the girls at school talk about it,” Burgess said. “A lot of the dads double-date and go out to dinner. Corsages are purchased and some dads are even in tuxedos and come in limos. It just runs the whole gamut of casual to really formal.”

On the dance’s second night, Feb. 21, photos were taken of the fathers and daughters by Clear Image Portrait Studio in Marysville, and a DJ put fathers and daughters through their paces, from the hokey-pokey to line-dancing. Both local teens and seniors from the Ken Baxter Senior Community Center showed up to serve punch and cookies, but the highlight of the dance was the crowning of a “Princess of the Night,” chosen from a raffle ticket drawing, with a tiara.

Bo Zerkle and his daughter Laura had never attended the event before, but they appreciated the opportunity to dance together and simply share in each other’s company.

“It’s been fun for me and the little lady to go and get some time for just the two of us,” Bo Zerkle said. “I liked doing the John Travolta one myself. I thought I was pretty good at it,” he laughed.

Eleanor Key turns 9 years old in July, and her energy level attested to her expressed love of dancing and cookies.

“I’m just glad I got to bring her, because she wanted to come,” said father Jack Key, who was bringing Eleanor to the dance for a second year in a row. “It’s a lot of fun. They get to jump around like crazy people, but they have a good time.”

“I think this dance is just a really great opportunity for dads and daughters to create a special memory together,” said Burgess, who also touted its benefits to the local economy. “This is a magical night.”

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