Fathers and father figures dressed in suits, tuxedos and button-down shirts, holding hands with their daughters, entered a room decorated with blue and white balloons and streams of lights, making the room festive as they celebrated their relationships.
On Saturday, more than 150 dads attended Hutch Rec’s Daddy Daughter Date Night. A member of the Family Community Theater hosted the annual event. The cast performed scenes from her upcoming show, “Matilda,” which will premiere at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 17 at Memorial Hall.
More than 300 attendees visited Cottonwood Court at the Kansas State Fairgrounds, where father figures had the opportunity to make new memories with their loved ones.
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Marquese Hill brought one of her daughters, 10-year-old Taylor, for some one-on-one time.
“We look forward to making lots of memories. That’s our thing. We love spending time together and making lots of memories,” he said.
Taylor said she can’t wait “to be with my dad!”
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Jeff Johnson, community events manager for Hutch Rec, said since taking over the event five years ago, this year’s dance was the biggest yet.
In 2021, quarantine procedures from the COVID-19 pandemic caused Daddy Daughter Date Night to be canceled, but this year Johnson said it looked like people were ready to get out and have fun.
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“People really appreciate it. I hear a lot, especially we’re decorating and the staff come in and see it, they’re like, ‘I wish they had that when I was a little girl,'” said Johnson.
One of the event’s sponsors, B.Epic Events, decorated Cottonwood Court where a net dropped hundreds of balloons in the middle of the dance floor.
Jerry Heiderscheit and his daughters, Grace, 10, and Mia, 6, attended the event to spend some quality time together.
“We’re late for daddy-daughter time. COVID was too big a break, I think, since the last time we went out,” Heiderscheit said.