Epi Quiroga wasn’t sure what to expect from the Father-Daughter Date Night he put on in Pipe Creek on Saturday, but with the size of the crowd that turned out and all the smiles on the faces of those in attendance, he couldn’t help but consider it “very successful.”
“It seems like all the planets lined up just right,” said Quiroga, who has lived in Pipe Creek about a year-and-a-half. “I was really excited to organize this. It’s some thing the community wanted.”
About 200 people were in attendance at the first-ever father-daughter dinner and dance Quiroga and his family put together at the Pipe Creek General Store and Dance Hall. Everyone interviewed said he or she was glad to be involved.
“It’s been a nice time to get out and spend quality time with your family and build memories,” said Ryan Simpson, who was there with two of his daughters, Rylee, 8, and Reyna, 3. “I’d definitely come back for it every year as long as we’re here.”
Hadley Hanchey, 4, said she had a lot of fun playing on the merrygo-round and other rides in the playground set up near the outdoor bandstand at the dance hall, an historic structure right in the middle of Pipe Creek.
Asked how long she had been waiting for the dance to arrive, she said, “Twenty-hundred days.”
“It’s a perfect place for a daddy-daughter dance to come and have a safe, good time,” said Hadley’s father Chad Hanchey, whose business printed up t-shirts to be given away as prizes at the gala. “I think they nailed it.”
The event, which cost $25 a person, included a catered dinner, booths where fathers could get their pictures taken with their daughter, rides for the youngsters, prize giveaways, a performance by San Antonio comedian Rose Daniel and live music by Kadence Beckett, a Pipe Creek youngster, and the Bret Mullins band.
Longtime San Antonio news anchor Randy Beamer attended with one of his daughters and spoke at the dinner, thanking Quiroga for creating the community-centered event.
Many of the attendees were from the Pipe Creek-Lakehills-Bandera area, but Boerne, San Antonio and other nearby towns also were represented. Quiroga said one grandfather came from Corpus Christi to be with his granddaughter.
Quiroga said the idea for the date night started with the gleeful reaction he got from his daughter when he took her out on a date night last year.
He felt like it would be a good thing to hold for all the other fathers in the community to show their love for the daughters now that things were starting to get closer to normal in the wake of the pandemic.
“It’s all about making those memories, right?” Quiroga asked the crowd in opening the event.
He has been involved in other community-oriented initiatives in the past, including an online anti-bullying campaign. The date night could provide some direct financial aid to the community since any money left over after the costs of the dance are covered will go to the Pipe Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
Quiroga said he planned to hold more date nights in the future after receiving so much encouragement from those in attendance Saturday. He hopes future events can be held without an admission charge if he can get enough sponsors on board.