Dads and daughters dressed up in their best country duds and headed out for a night of Boots and Beauties

ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero kicked off the month of love with its 19th annual Father and Daughter Sweetheart Dance on Friday, Feb. 9, featuring daughters 12 and under dancing with their fathers or father figures. Saturday, Feb. 3, was for the older crowd. Both nights sold out, with a total of 750 attendees.

“This is my second year,” said father and resident Brian Weise. “My daughter is four. I think it’s great for the community to offer this.” 

This year’s theme was Boots and Beauties, and everyone showed up dressed to the country-themed nines for both nights of the dance. The dance, which the City of Atascadero put on, was led by Recreation Coordinator Ashley Zamora, who assists the city with events, and she was so excited to pick this year’s theme.


“It felt like this last couple of years the whole Dolly Disco thing has been really popular. So I did a kind of spin-off on that to make it a little more age-appropriate and then a lot of pink because of the ‘Barbie’ movie, so it just kind of came together. Disco, Taylor Swift, it’s all incorporated,” Zamora said excitedly. “Putting it together was fun. The decorating is my favorite, obviously, and then it all kind of falls in place with the help of all of our volunteers from Cal Poly and then some of our [city] staff as well.”

The dance, which took place at the Pavilion on the Lake, sported three adorable cowgirl-themed photo booths in the lobby where dads helped each other take photos with their daughters in front of them. And there was no shortage of disco balls, pink cowgirl hats, and bright decorations hanging from the ceiling in the main part of the building. 

“I think it’s amazing. I think it’s so sweet that the dads and the daughters are getting together, and it’s a lot of fun,” added Zamora.

The emcee and DJ for both nights was Manuel Medina of Medina Light Show Designs. The music vibes were immaculate as he played everything from Taylor Swift to Dua Lipa, with plenty of country songs thrown in, too. 

“We wouldn’t be able to do it without our sponsors and the help of our community,” said Zamora, who’s been with the city for a little over two years.

This year’s included presenting sponsor H&R Block and Guest House Grill. The dance’s in-kind sponsors were All Signs & Graphics and Sylvesters.

“It’s a huge community-based event. I feel like everyone looks forward to it every year, and so I hope that it just continues to grow,” stated Zamora.

The Father and Daughter Sweetheart Dance will return for its 20th year on Feb. 7 and 8, 2025.

Photos by Rick Evans and Austin Hatcher