Seniors dance the night away at Calexico’s annual Father’s Day celebration

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Local residents Benito and Juanita Espinoza attended the Father’s Day dance at the Calexico Community Center in Calexico. Photo by Daniella Rodiles.

CALEXICO – Seniors joined in with family and friends from all over the Valley Friday, June 9 for an early celebration of Father’s Day, complete with dancing and dinner at the Calexico Community Center. Over one hundred people attended the night, which was organized and hosted by the Calexico’s Recreation Department and sponsored by the Hefferman Memorial Healthcare District. For more than 20 years, the event has gathered dozens of fathers and grandfathers for a family-oriented night.

“The community has been very supportive. Each year we do this event, more people come and have a great time,” said Carmen Maldonado, event coordinator of Calexico’s Recreation Department. “It’s an opportunity for the elderly community to come and enjoy live music and a delicious dinner.”

As the evening settled down with a warm breeze, guests arrived to the reception and enjoyed a nice dinner and lived music performed by Tony Navarro, who sang several slow and upbeat songs to add to the ambience.

“My wife and I have come here for more than three years and we love everything about it,” said Adolfo Leon of Brawley. “The environment is for people our age, it’s very friendly. It feels very safe and respected for everyone who comes here.”

Juan and Patricia Zarate, residents of Imperial, attended the dance for the first time with friends and said the event were perfect for those who don’t go out much and are looking for a night of entertainment.

“We always have to cheer each other because with work and everything else in the way it doesn’t give us a chance to distract ourselves. It’s necessary for seniors to go out and enjoy a day with your family and friends,” said Patricia.

With laughter and smiles, guests went up the dance floor and danced to slow songs, sang along to Mariachi music, and showed off their best moves to the upbeat Cumbia songs. Guests also had the opportunity to sing karaoke to their favorite songs.

“We like it here since there’s live music and you have a great time,” said Emma Rodriguez who was accompanied with her husband. “There’s a lot of people who don’t have the money to go to fancy restaurants or other events, so this is a great moment and have fun.”