Friday night was a very special evening for 89 little girls, thanks to the City of Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department.
Girls ages 3-12 sat tittering anxiously in their fathers’ idling cars near the Center Lake Pavilion, hair curled and bejeweled, shoes polished and cheeks rosy. Fathers, stepfathers and male guardians escorted their beautiful babies through a red shimmer-strung doorway into what would be any little girl’s paradise, starting at 6 p.m. for the annual Daddy’s Little Sweetheart Dance.
According to Recreation Director Liz McKinley, tickets have been sold out for weeks, reaching the 150 person capacity quickly. “Dads have been calling me begging to bring their girls,” said McKinley. McKinley said she couldn’t allow additional participants, as she was fearful some special little lady wouldn’t get her “Sweetheart 2015” sash, or one of the gifts each girl left with.
Each little girl and her special father figure posed for photos with a professional photographer, and was able to take home a photo to remember the night. The tables were scattered with candy hearts and red and pink balloons, adding to the cheerful glow already filling the room.
As the photo line died down, the dance floor began to wind up.
J+S VanLue DJ Services, a local face around town, was in charge of the music for the evening. After a couple hopping songs, including “Uptown Funk,” “Shake It Off,” and “Call Me Maybe,” it was obvious that the fathers and guardians were enjoying the special night just as much as their special little ladies. Some of the fathers had a daughter on each arm, spending the evening twirling one on each side.
Father-daughter pair Gary and Lily Boschain were creative with their moves, placing Lily atop a chair to keep her at eye level with her father. Dynamic duo Mikilah Wiggs and Curtis Grady spent almost the whole night on the floor, cutting a rug to each song while Mikilah giggled and spun around in her baby blue, tiered dress.
When the pairs weren’t dancing, they could snack on finger food items such as sandwiches, fruits and cupcakes. Each lady could also take her chance at winning a prize by guessing how many delicious candy hearts were filling an overstuffed jar.
Walking through the open dance floor, one could see fathers laughing and chatting with each other as their daughters giggled together over cupcakes and lemonade, fathers swinging their ladies around on the dance floor and even a couple father-daughter selfies.
The Daddy’s Little Sweetheart Dance is a special event that the City of Warsaw Parks and Recreation plans to continue to honor the special bond between a father and daughter.