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Dads and daughters brave the snow to attend annual dance
Bill Mattel and daughter Caroline enjoy the first slow dance of the evening at the Gainesville Civic Center during the annual daddy-daughter dance put on by the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Department.

When it comes to being a parent, most will do anything to guarantee the happiness of their children.

Just ask the dads that braved icy roads and hiked through snow to bring their daughters to the annual daddy-daughter dance at the Gainesville Civic Center on Friday.

“We wouldn’t have missed this for the world,” Mike Kemp said.

While he wasn’t phased by the snow, his daughter Ashlynn Kemp was.

“I was a little bit worried that it would mess up my dress,” the 8-year-old said.

The Kemps weren’t the only father-daughter duo to brave the elements on Friday to attend the annual dance sponsored by the Gainesville Parks and Leisure Department.

“We had roughly 150 couples make reservations and everyone seems to be coming out,” said Brenda Martin, civic center manager.

Although attendance was strong for the city’s dance, the same can’t be said for other area dances. Due to Friday’s inclement weather, both the Jefferson Parks and Recreation Department and the Hall County Parks and Leisure Department postponed their dances. The county dance was postponed until Feb. 19, and the Jefferson dance was moved to March 5.

According to Gainesville staff, they received many calls from concerned mothers hoping the dance wasn’t canceled.

“We were wondering if they would cancel, but we are very glad that they didn’t,” said Andre Kallab, who escorted his daughter, Racquel Kallab, 7. “This is our third time coming — it’s nice to be able to spend this time together, just the two of us.”

While the father-daughter dance is an opportunity for dads to bond with their daughters, for the daughters it’s all about the fun.

“The dancing is my favorite part,” Racquel said.

After kicking off their galoshes and shedding their coats, the girls got to dine on kid-approved cuisine like chicken strips and macaroni and cheese, while enjoying all of the latest hits like “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus.

When asked to choose the best part of the evening — the music, food, face painting, prize drawings or time with daddy — most of the girls found it hard to choose just one.

Mallory Land, 8, who was escorted by her tuxedo-wearing father Ricky Land, summed up the feelings of all the girls who couldn’t choose.

“It’s so much fun; I told all of my friends about it,” she said. “I love everything.”

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