By the time the first beats of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” echoed through the room, dads were ditched and daughters made a beeline to the dance floor.
But for much of last Thursday evening, dads and daughters partnered up to let loose and have fun during Daddy-Daughter Date Night.
The 11th annual event — organized by the Papillion Recreation Department — was held at a new location this year.
Making the switch from Liberty Social Hall to Karen’s Fireside allowed for an additional 60 attendees, said Jen Manzo, recreation programmer.
The change in locale and additional attendees made the crowd of 260 the largest the event has seen.
“We’re excited to see it continue to grow,” Manzo said. “We’re trying something new and it’s nice to accept more participants who want to have a great night.”
Many fathers and daughters, like Christian and Joselyn Lind, make the event an annual tradition.
The Linds have been going to Daddy-Daughter Date Night for six years. While they try to spend one-on-one time together every couple months, the night of dinner and dancing is always on the calendar.
With other siblings at home, it’s a chance for Joselyn, 12, to spend time with her dad.
“It’s fun,” she said. “It’s just me and my dad.”
Other attendees were first-timers, like Bryan and Allie Bartlett.
Having recently moved back to the Papillion area, Bryan thought it would be a fun evening with his 3-year-old daughter.
“It’s just a chance for us to do something alone and without her mom and brother,” he said.
For Allie, it was a great opportunity to get dolled up in a sparkly red dress. She even asked to have her hair done for the occasion.
“She usually doesn’t let her mom do her hair,” Bryan said.
Manzo attributes the event’s popularity to its simplicity.
“Having a nice meal and dancing seems to be enough,” she said. “It’s a special night for a dad and daughter to go out, spend quality time together, get dressed up and dance.”