With the season of love in full swing, the Hannah Community Center is gearing up for its much-anticipated annual Sweetheart Ball.
The event is open to anyone and everyone and hopes to bring the community together, East Lansing Parks, Recreation and Arts Department (ELPRA) media contact Kathleen Miller said.
Mark your calendars for this heartwarming rendezvous, as the Sweetheart Ball unfolds on Wednesday, Feb. 7 and Thursday, Feb. 8, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Hosted by the East Lansing Parks, Recreation and Arts Department (ELPRA), East Lansing has been home to the annual Sweetheart Ball for over two decades.
Miller said the event evolved from its origin as a daddy-daughter dance in the early 2000s, shedding its exclusivity to become a celebration embracing all types of families.
“Families deserve a night out,” Miller said. “It’s an opportunity for the kids to have a fun night out, while still letting the adults have Valentine’s Day to themselves.”
While the Sweetheart Ball most often sees semi-formal attire, there's no dress code dictating the wardrobe choices of attendees. Miller said the event’s emphasis is on inclusivity, encouraging families to adorn themselves in whatever makes them feel most comfortable.
“We want people to feel great on their night out,” Miller said. “That means wearing what makes them feel great.”
With the help of volunteers from the Michigan State University community, families can take a breather from the dance floor at the activities table where Valentine’s-themed crafts await. The activities table is included with the registration fee and provides exciting, Valentine’s themed crafts.
Following the crafting sessions and Cupid Shuffle dance-offs, families can unwind and indulge in an array of assorted, allergen-conscious treats and refreshments, a perfect interlude before diving back into the festivities.
“One of our most popular activities is our photo booth,” Miller said. “The photo booth is loved by our families and helps mark the night’s memories.”
The registration process is a breeze, with options available online or at the door, each ticket priced at $15. This all-inclusive cost ensures unrestricted access to the plethora of activities and events that promise an evening of wholesome enjoyment, Miller said.
While the event takes place over the course of two days, the activities do not change. Both nights will hold the same activities. The decision to split the event over two days is a thoughtful measure to alleviate congestion and ensure an optimal experience for all attendees, Miller said.
Miller said that in the past, the Sweetheart Ball has seen as many as six hundred people over the course of the two days.
Despite a slight dip in attendance last year due to the lingering effects of the pandemic, ELPRA remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering community spirit and is eager to witness a resurgence in engagement in the coming years.
The Sweetheart Ball isn't just an event; it's a celebration that lingers, a reminder that love and unity are the true stars of the show, Miller said.
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