Republic Father-Daughter dance enjoys record attendance

The Republic Parks and Recreation Department held their 16th annual Father/Daughter Valentine Dance at the Republic Community Center on Friday, Feb. 7. An estimated 1,000 people attended; the largest attendance at the event to date.
The dance featured a live DJ, dancing, finger foods, a balloon drop—where more than 2,000 balloons were dropped onto the dance floor—and a professional photographer who gave each father and daughter a free 5x7 color portrait, with other prints available for purchase. The girls also received glow items and a goody bag as they left.
Dr. Chance Wistrom, superintendent of Republic Schools, was there to dance with his daughters, Andie, 10, and Josie, 8.

Wistrom said he took his girls to the dance not only to have fun, but so they could see how a man should treat them when they’re older.
“It’s a special night,” he said, “because you’re out with a bunch of other men who are making a special night for their daughters; who are showing their daughters how they should be treated and having a good time with them.
For Andie, the night was all about spending time with her father and her sister.
“I really think I like dancing with my dad, and I think it helps us really bond, because we always go out for a special dinner,” she said. “And I just love being with him and partying with my sister and sometimes I get to see my friends. It’s just a night I look forward to every year.”
Josie said she enjoyed the balloon drop because “we got to smash balloons,” but said she also enjoyed the quality time.
“I like it best because … I got to spend time with my sister and my dad,” she said.
Darran Campbell, who came with his daughters Tara, 17 and Tyra, 19, has been to 15 of the 16 Father/Daughter dances in Republic. He said it has become an important event, not only for him and his daughters, but the rest of his family as well.
“In the last four or five years, I’ve had four brothers to join us, and their daughters,” he said, adding they have a special dinner at Big Whiskey’s ahead of time.
Campbell added that one of his brothers, Galin, had passed away, but Galin’s son Matt accompanied his sister, Lily, to the dance in their father’s honor.
The evening ended with a conga line led by Recreation Supervisor Kris Parks. Parks said he led the conga line to help make the evening one the fathers and daughters wouldn’t forget.
“I just wanted to get the whole crowd involved, something to be fun to end on, let them go home with a memory,” he said. “We’re all about creating memories, so I just wanted to leave them with something good and something that everyone was involved in together.”


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