A 32-year-old tradition continues on Saturday night. At Largo's Daddy-Daughter Date Night, some will attend in formal attire, wearing tuxedos and princess gowns. Others will arrive in Hawaiian shirts and khakis, blouses and blue jeans, keeping it casual. No matter what they wear, all attendees will get to dance the night away inside the gymnasium at Southwest Recreation Complex.
But remember, there will be one rule to follow.
"No moms allowed,'' said Kim Adams of Largo, who attended his first Date Night 13 years ago when his youngest daughter, Gabrielle, was 4. Now she's 17.
Organizers are expecting about 130 participants for this year's Date Night, which is dubbed "The Fire and Ice Ball.'' Attendees will stroll between flickering lights and ice sculptures. There will be a dessert bar equipped with an ice cream sundae station, s'mores roasted by the fire as well as cakes, cookies and other treats.
Adams recalled that a few of the Date Nights not only served as a night of fun for fathers and daughters, but also strengthened the relationship between the two sisters.
"On that first Date Night I attended, my daughter, Tamara, who is from an earlier marriage, was about 20 and Gabrielle was much younger. That night, they really, really had fun together and that meant a lot to everyone,'' he said.
A DJ will spin music for a wide range of musical tastes. "We'll have songs by the Temptations for the dads, and we'll have dance music with Hannah Montana for the young girls,'' said Brandon McIntosh, Largo recreation program supervisor who is coordinating the event.
In past years the program has included dinner, but this year organizers aimed to lower the ticket price.
"We're seeing a lot of people suffering with job loss and the economy, and we know how important it is to keep the tradition going, so we opted to not charge for dinner,'' McIntosh said.
McIntosh would love to hear from fathers and daughters who attended the Daddy-Daughter Date Night in its beginning. "I've heard a lot of stories over the past few years, but I don't know anyone who goes back to the very first one. I'm curious to hear what it was like in the 1970s.''