MILTON-FREEWATER — The Jr. Show organization here is not typically associated with life’s fancier moments.
Rather, the self-supporting association is dedicated to teaching kids about farm and home. Its showgrounds, just off the highway on the outskirts of town, is all barn, bales and business.
Once a year, however, board members take time from 4-H and other agriculture activities to underscore the “family” that is essential to the Jr. Show spirit with its father-daughter Valentine’s dance — all flowers and music and appetizers.
“It’s one of our main fundraisers,” said Shawn Kralman, Jr. Show board president.
Jr. Show’s Father-Daughter Dance is Saturday from 7-9 p.m. at the Milton-Freewater Community Building, 109 N.E. Fifth St.
She started the dance four years ago after realizing no one else in town was doing it, recalled Chris Wallace, a Milton-Freewater lawyer and treasurer for the organization. That first year only 35 tickets were presold, she said, “and I thought ‘oh no.’”
Nonetheless, Wallace prevailed upon the kindness of “Just Roses” in Walla Walla to make sure there were enough flowers for each potential girl. “I upped the order to 50 flowers and so the doors opened and we ended up with 98 little girls … we had to scramble. We were just overwhelmed with the turnout.”
The dance has been popular ever since and raises money to help Jr. Show keep the lights on and the buildings standing, Kralman said.
The young ladies dress like “princesses” and the men are dressed accordingly, Wallace said. “I know a lot of the dads have taken (their daughters) out to dinner before the dance. We have people from all over the Valley come.”
And the most popular moment? “The Limbo,” Wallace said with a laugh. “The little girls just come flying out on the floor.”
Tickets to the no-age-limit event are $35 for a daughter-father (or father figure) duo, and $10 for each additional girl. The price includes a flower, finger foods and a portrait. Tickets will be available at the door or by calling 541-938-6586.