The annual father-daughter dance known as the Boots and Bows event, hosted by the Oakdale Sunrise Rotary Club, had a packed house the evening of Friday, Feb. 11.
The 300 available tickets were completely sold out the Monday prior to the dance that Friday evening at the Gene Bianchi Community Center in downtown Oakdale, creating a room full of high energy from the excited dads and daughters. Grandfathers, uncles, brothers and cousins were welcome to attend the event as well, and the festivities are typically hosted around the Valentine’s Day holiday.
The line was out the door at the South Second Avenue center, as attendees first got their picture taken by photographer Amy Velasco surrounded by props such as balloons and banners. They then were redirected back into the main hall to be presented with complimentary beaded corsages, pieces of jewelry such as rings and earrings, and the chance to purchase raffle tickets to put into your choice of prize bags waiting inside.
The prize baskets for the raffle tickets were put together and donated by a variety of community members.
Fully decorated tables and an open dance floor waiting to be danced on is the first thing you saw when you walked into the main meeting room at the Bianchi Center, with attendees settling in at tables with friends or family members.
Tables of food were laid out that included pizza, a sandwich station, snacks, and a huge dessert table with the towering chocolate fountain with loads of options for dipping.
Face painting offered by Colorz Face Painting was set up as well, adding that little extra glitter to the daughters to create a festive mood.
Rotary member and the main coordinator of Boots and Bows, Patrick Mondragon, welcomed the attendees and provided a rundown of the festivities, along with making sure the whole night ran smoothly.
“Tonight is going to be great, it is an upbeat bonding opportunity to create core memories,” Mondragon stated.
Smiles from ear to ear filled the room, and slowly the pairs began to make their way onto the dance floor. The fathers and daughters were all dressed in their Sunday best and many enjoyed dancing like no one was watching.
“We are most looking forward to spending time with each other and all the dancing,” father and daughter William and Clara Walker agreed.
From dress pants to wranglers, heels to boots, all ages were there to spend the evening together, a special gathering they won’t soon forget.
Since last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19, many were excited to get back to as normal as possible and participate in this year’s dance.
“We get to just have fun together and make memories,” father and daughter Brandon and Hazel Green explained.