10th annual Mother-Son Halloween Dance
When: 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 22
Where: Gainesville Civic Center Ballroom, 830 Green St. NE, Gainesville
Cost: $20 per person. Register by Oct. 18.
In light of all the daddy-daughter dances over the past 14 years, Gainesville Parks & Recreation has made sure for the past decade the mother-son duos are not left out.
An event set apart, the 10th annual Mother-Son Halloween Dance at the Gainesville Civic Center is for mother-son duos, or moms with more than one son.
From little ones who want to dance with mom, or bigger children who dress up but go solo, all are welcome to register for the dance, which features a live DJ, a dinner and costume contest.
Gainesville Parks & Recreation created the event in response to high demand from the community. Julie Butler-Colombini, marketing and communications coordinator for Gainesville Parks & Recreation, said what started as a multiple-themed event gained more popularity as a community Halloween party.
“The mothers were requesting that we do something for them and the sons,” Butler-Colombini said. “One time, it was like a hoedown. Every year, it had a different theme. And a few years ago, the staff got together and decided this is so close to Halloween, and really, truly, one night of Halloween just isn’t enough.”
Since the organization decided to turn the event into a costume dance, they have grown into an expected crowd of at least 150 people, or about 75 mother-son couples.
“It looks like the folks that have registered go as little as 5 (years old), and up to sixth-grade, seventh-grade maybe,” Butler-Colombini said.
Many prizes will be given out for the best mother-son couple costume, but what those are is under wraps.
“There’s something that they all want,” she said about the prizes for the boys, which will vary by age group. “The moms have a chance to win something nice, too; but I can’t say what it is yet.”
Guests are welcome to be as imaginative as they want with their costumes, whether they are funny or frightening.
Butler-Colombini said the toughest challenge for those running the event is deciding who wins the costume contest. Due to the stiff competition, she said this year is expected to be a closer call than ever.
“The creativity that these moms and boys do, I just wonder how long they’ve planned it,” she said. “They look great.”
Those who wish to participate in the event must register by Oct. 18. Call 770-531-2680 or visit www.gainesville.org/recreation for more information.