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Girls' night out... with dad: Sweetheart Dance set for Friday night at Holmes Theatre

The Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance, set this year for Friday, Feb. 10, is an opportunity for little girls to enjoy a little one-on-one attention from the special men in their lives, be it their dad, granddad, uncle or a special family friend. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
It's an exciting moment when the girls lead their dads, granddads, uncles and special friends out for some fun on the dance floor for the Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance, which is set to take place this year on Friday, Feb. 10 at the Historic Holmes Theatre. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

For the past 11 years, on an enchanted evening in February, princesses from throughout the land of lakes have been bringing the special men in their lives — be it their dads, granddads, uncles or family friends — to Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre to enjoy a night of dancing, crafts, food and fun that was created just for them.

Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance will celebrate its 11th anniversary this Friday, Feb. 10, once again kicking off Detroit Lakes' annual Polar Fest celebration in style.

"This year's theme is a 'Snow Ball,'" says event coordinator Beth Horslev Gilbert, adding that there will be lots of snowflakes, ice crystals and other winter-related decorations strewn throughout the main theater and the adjacent Holmes Ballroom, which is where most of the evening's festivities will take place.

"There will be three lighted snowflake mobiles hanging from the ceiling (of the ballroom), along with a disco ball, and there will be white-flocked trees, crystals and snowflakes everywhere," she said. "We're going all out to make it a winter wonderland in there."

As always, the night begins with the Grand March at 6 p.m. — but this year, things have been streamlined a bit, with two lines heading into the theater, two separate arches to pose for photos, and even two different announcers.

"We want to keep things moving, so the dads and daughters aren't standing in line for so long," Gilbert explained.

"It will be a lot faster this year," promised Amy Stoller Stearns, the theater's executive director.

There will also be two lines leading to the food tables this year, Gilbert added; La Barista is once again catering the event, with a few special 'sweet treats' to be provided by Lakes Country Bakery as well.

And photographer Angela Schmitz will be back providing commemorative photos for the father/daughter pairs, with "staggered" photo-taking sessions throughout the evening.

"Everything starts at 6 p.m.," Stearns added. "The Grand March, the music (by deejay Jared Bridgeman, who will be in the ballroom), the food, the photos, the arts and crafts..."

It's all part of an effort to make the event a little more "dad friendly," Gilbert explained, by eliminating the need for long lines wherever possible.

As for the arts and crafts, they will also be snow-themed, she added, with kits to make snowflake charm necklaces and other items that the girls can take home with them.

There will also be small gifts available for for sale at the event, like chocolate roses, tiaras and rings, so dads can treat their daughters to a little something special to commemorate the evening.

"Everything will be fairly inexpensive, like $1-$5," Gilbert said.

Those small gifts are in addition to the "princess packages" that dads can purchase as part of their daughter's admission to the event, which includes the commemorative photo and a "goodie bag" that contains a crown and other snowflake-themed surprises.

One important aspect of the evening, Stearns added, is that moms and grandmas are only welcome during the Grand March, where they can snap photos to their hearts' content; the ballroom is off limits to all but the girls and their special dates.

"This is about the girls getting to spend some special time with their dads, granddads, uncles and special friends," she added.

"It's so cute!" exclaimed theater volunteer Margaret Magnan, who has been involved with the Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance for many years now. "For the crafts, the dads will get down on their knees to help their little girls... and the girls are so excited to get them out on the dance floor."

For more information, or to reserve tickets, please contact the Historic Holmes Theatre at 218-844-7469, or visit the website at

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

(218) 844-1454