Palestine YMCA is holding its annual Daddy-Daughter/Mother-Son Dance on Saturday, Feb. 27, with extra precautions to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
Originally set for Saturday Feb. 20, the dance was rescheduled to ensure the building’s plumbing is fully operating after this week’s winter storm.
YMCA staff are also taking steps to meet Gov. Greg Abbott’s emergency requirement for 50% occupancy so participants can practice social distancing; but organizers don’t expect to have to turn people away, either.
Last year’s daddy-daughter dance drew roughly 300 participants, but under the governor’s guidelines, up to 100 people can safely occupy the gym and multipurpose room at a time.
Cindy Piersol, Palestine YMCA’s chief executive officer, said limiting ticket sales will not be necessary because some of last year’s participants will choose not to come.
“I really think the event is going to be self-limiting,” Piersol said. “People who want to come will be able to come.”
To prevent overcrowding, eight to 10 staff members working at the event will rely on staggered start times, different points of entry, and close monitoring.
Other measures include encouraging attendees to follow Center for Disease Control safety guidelines by social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, and sanitizing public areas.
Outdoor areas such as the Y’s backyard play area or the front of the building may be used for refreshments, if the weather permits.
The mother-son dance will be from 5 to 7 p.m., while the daddy-daughter dance is 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Staff members will clean and sanitize the areas between the two events and begin taking tickets for the first dance at 4:45 p.m.
Tickets for Y members cost $15 per couple; tickets for visitors cost $20 per couple.
Piersol encourages participants to purchase tickets ahead of time, but plans to continue selling tickets at the door for $25 per couple.
Participants can enter through the front of the Y to present or purchase tickets or through the back door for photos, if desired.
Photographer Jessica McCann is taking portraits from 4 to 8 p.m. Photography packages cost from $16 to $65. Anyone can purchase photographs without buying a ticket to the dance.
“We really encourage people, if they’re comfortable, to come participate and have a great time,” Piersol said. “We’ll do our best to accommodate everyone.”
Tickets for the dance are now on sale at the Palestine YMCA. For information, call 903-729-3139, or visit the YMCA on Facebook.