COOKEVILLE – Daughters: Go ahead and wear those fancy dresses. Style your hair. Do whatever makes you feel special.
Dads: Put on those coats and ties. Perfect those dance moves. Carve out time for making memories.
That’s what Cookeville Leisure Services recreation superintendent Cara Sheets envisions for a Father-Daughter Date Night like no other before – one that has been reimagined virtually for pandemic times.
“We know things are different this year, but the most important thing is for fathers and daughters to still make the time to do something together, whether that’s going out someplace or staying in,” she said. “We want them to keep that tradition strong.”
This year, instead of the traditional large gatherings with dinner and dancing at the Leslie Town Centre four nights in February, Father-Daughter Date Night will consist of online activities, contests, photo and video sharing, interviews and ideas for fun ways dads and daughters can celebrate their time together.
The virtual two-week event starts Feb. 14 on the Cookeville Leisure Services Department Facebook page with daily posts and opportunities to win prizes.
Sheets encourages fathers and daughters to check in regularly to view content shared by other couples they have gotten to know through the years.
“I would love for people to still feel that community and see people they recognize,” she said. “If enough people interact and engage and post pictures and videos, I think that will give them that sense of gathering even though we’re not gathering.”
Details for each of the contests will be posted on the Cookeville Leisure Services Department Facebook page on the following dates:
Feb. 16: Scavenger hunt
Feb. 18: Dance video
Feb. 21: Past Father-Daughter Date Night picture
Feb. 23: Current picture (What does this year’s date night look like for you?)
Feb. 25: Favorite father-daughter tradition or memory
Participants will have through Feb. 27 to enter all five contests. Winners will be announced March 1.
“For the scavenger hunt, fathers and daughters will be going to different places in town,” Sheets said. “Then they can post pictures.”
She also hopes for good participation in the video dance competition.
“Dancing is a big part of Father-Daughter Date Night,” she said. “Some of our dads and daughters – they’ve got moves. We would love for some brave souls to record that.”
She encourages lots of photo sharing as well.
“We want old pictures, new pictures – the more, the merrier,” she said.
Just like with the traditional Father-Daughter Date Night, participation is open to fathers and daughters of all ages, including grandfathers and other father figures.
“This is multigenerational,” Sheets said. “It incorporates a lot of people.”