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A night in Wonderland
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Three-year-old besties, from left, Kinsley Knowles and Lennon Guthrie hold up flamingoes while in Wonderland.

Upon entering Bridgestone Learning Center, fathers and daughters alike felt like they had fallen down the rabbit hole into the wonderful world of Wonderland.  

With pink flamingoes, tea cups, red roses and floating cards, the Alice in Wonderland-themed Father-Daughter Date Night was a huge hit on Saturday evening. 

Daniel Hullett and his daughter, Makenzie, have been looking forward to the Father-Daughter Date Night, which is in its 23rd year. 

“We started coming when she was just three so this is our sixth year attending,” said Daniel. “We have a lot of fun so it has become a father-daughter tradition for us.”

Added Makenzie, “I really like the decorations this year and Alice is really pretty, but my favorite part is being with my daddy.”

Popular characters could be seen in colorful displays including the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat and the Caterpillar. Others came to life through costumes worn by the van Vuuren family. The children flocked to pose for photos with Jennifer as Alice along with Ansley Mullican as the Queen of Hearts. 

Although some youngsters weren’t so sure about the Mad Hatter portrayed by First National president Pieter van Vuuren, a quick dab dance move had the girls smiling and giggling. First National Bank has sponsored the event for the past six years. 

Van Vuuren explained why the Father-Daughter Date Night is important to our community saying, “With this event, our bank believes that we can help the people coming to the dance to build stronger relationships and form memories that will last a lifetime.”

After finishing their meal, girls dragged their daddies onto the dance floor to swirl and dip. Some little girls ditched their dads and partnered with their friends, including three-year-old besties Lennon Guthrie and Kinsley Knowles.

With 357 tickets sold, the dance floor was hopping as Jason Gross of The Sound Machine played upbeat songs including “Wobble”, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” and “Shake it Off.” Colorful strobe lights lit up the room and soon bags of balloons were released for the girls to play with.

“We’ve had a blast and now we’re going to head to Topz to end the night, which is somewhat of a tradition for us,” said dad Justin Adcock, who brought daughter Demi. 

As for now, next year’s Father-Daughter Date Night will be held at Bridgestone while work continues at the Civic Center.