Mardi Gras came to Miami Springs on Saturday evening, Feb. 16 when more than 200 daddies and daughters gathered at the Miami Springs Country Club for the annual Daddy and Daughter Date Night. It was actually 117 girls and their 86 fathers who showed up ready for an evening that included dinner and a lot of dancing.
“This was an amazing evening. The girls were at a huge party, but us dads were in heaven,” said Mayor Zavier Garcia, who attended with his two daughters, Alexa and Addy. “Much appreciation goes out to the great Miami Springs Parks and Recreation Department for putting on my favorite party ever.”
It’s a magical evening that fathers and daughters look forward to all year. The planning began at the conclusion of last year’s event when Patti Bradley and Katherine Anderson decided on the Mardi Gras theme for 2013. The Dynasty Room at the Miami Springs Country Club was lined with gold, green and purple masks, necklaces and balloons for the guests.
“The Parks and Recreation Department puts on the event but we would not be able to do so without the support of the mayor and council of Miami Springs as well as Omar Luna, recreation director,” Anderson said. “The entire recreation staff helps out with the event in some way or another and, as always within the Rec Department, this is a team effort.”
“There is nothing more important than giving the dads and daughters memories that will last a lifetime,” said Bradley, the program supervisor. Bradley led the way and, with the help of Anderson, Caitlin Smith and a whole team of people provided a flawless and memorable evening for each and every guest.
“This is the first time that I have done this special event and I am already looking forward to the next one,” said Francisco Bravo of The Original Twilight Production, Inc. Bravo is a resident of Miami Springs and local business owner and DJ who provided the music for the evening. “Next year I plan to attend with my two daughters.”
There were daughters of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. One of the oldest daughters that could be found in the room was 16-year-old Nydia Penas, who attended with her father, Alvaro Penas, along with 10-year-old sister Elizabeth Penas.
The Miami Springs Country Club provided a delicious manly meal for the dads that included meat and potatoes and vegetables. There also was a perfectly pleasing meal for the daughters, including chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese. Every detail was thought of and appreciated by the guests. It’s unclear who had more fun, the daughters or the dads.
“I love to go to the dance because we get to have fun, we talk about stuff, and we get to dance,” said 8-year-old Hailey Melian, who attended with her father Orlando Melian. This was Hailey’s third year at the dance. “I’ll never stop coming to the dance with my daddy.”
If ever the Dynasty Room could be overflowing with joy and excitement, it was this night. As the daughters paraded around in their evening dresses, sharing dances and conversation with their fathers or chatting away with their little girlfriends, the fathers danced with their daughters and caught up with their buddies. The aura of the room and the real magic of the evening was that all of the adults who were in attendance know that someday they’ll be give their daughter(s) away.
“Being able to see all the fathers and daughters come together and enjoy a night out is a magical moment,” Anderson said. “In my opinion, there is no bond more special than the one between a daddy and his little girl.”