Fathers and daughters dance at sold-out event
Fathers and daughters line dance at Riverton’s eighth annual “Just You and I” event. (Kevin Willett/Riverton City)
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Once again, the tickets for Riverton City’s father-daughter date night sold out within a week of availability, but this time Willie Wangberg snagged tickets to the city’s most popular indoor event.
“I tried to sign up last year, but it was too full,” the Riverton resident said, adding that he now sees why tickets go fast. “It looks amazing in here. They did a really good job.”
Nearly 150 participants, including Willie Wangberg and his daughters, Ellie, 6, and Claire, 3, paraded into the Sandra N. Lloyd Community Center on Feb. 3 wearing best dress. The girls were given artificial flower corsages, and the fathers were given candy corsages before they were whisked away to have formal pictures taken.
The participants entered the auditorium, which was filled with Valentine's decorations. First, the room acted as a restaurant. The circular tables were dressed with Italian food and pink—pink tablecloths, pink silverware and pink balloons.
Next, the room became a dance floor, as city employees cleared the tables and chairs, and turned the music up. The dance portion of the night included freestyle dance and line-dance instruction by Riverton Pageant first attendant Serra Bye and second attendant Taylor Jones.
First-time participants and those who have made a tradition of “Just You and I” alike said they enjoyed the night.
Cameron Cole, who attended the annual event with his 9-year-old daughter, Katelyn Cole, for the sixth time, said they keep coming back because it’s a good way for him to teach his daughter how she should be treated on dates when she gets older.
Josh Moore, who recently moved to Riverton, said he signed his three daughters up for the activity because it sounded like an event they attended in their previous neighborhood. His 12-year-old daughter, Sydney Moore, said she loved the environment at the Riverton event.
“I love how everyone here is like a whole big family,” she said.
Riverton’s Parks and Public Service director said togetherness is the purpose of the event.
“Events like ‘Just You & I – Daddy/Daughter Date Night’ help promote that sense of community,” she said.
While most of the event followed the same pattern as years past, this was the first year Disney princesses attended the eighth-annual, father-daughter tradition. Teens who were dressed like princesses posed for pictures and danced with the younger girls.
“It’s wonderful to be able to be here and try to set a good example for these girls,” said Charli Denos, who acted like Rapunzel for the night. “They get so excited when they see us.”
Six-year-old Ellie Wangberg rushed up to hug Denos and two other teens dressed as Cinderella and Elsa when they entered the auditorium.
“We haven’t taken our girls to Disneyland yet, but they saw the princesses here, so they got a taste of it,” Willie Wangberg said.
And although she loved the princesses, Ellie Wangberg said they weren’t the best part of “Just You and I.”
“My dad’s my favorite,” she said. “I loved to spend time with him.”