For a few hours, Newburyport City Hall will be bustling with smiling and screaming daughters and their dads as the annual semi-formal Ancient Order of Hibernians Father Daughter Dance returns. Tickets are $25 each with proceeds to the March 23rd event going to the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center of Newburyport and Amesbury. Subtitled “A Chuisle Mo Chroi,” Gaelic for ” The Beat of My Heart,” the AOH Father Daughter Dance gives fathers a special opportunity to spend a memorable evening with their daughters and raise money for the nationally known organization that provides care for victims of domestic violence.
AOH Father Daughter Dance organizer Paul O’Brien called the event, which will transform the upper floor of Newburyport City Hall into a sea of “green, white and orange,” a special evening which will draw fathers and daughters from all walks of life. “From CEO’s to police offices to firefighters,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien said the idea for the AOH Father Daughter Dance came more than four years ago when he attended a parent-teacher conference and discussed the special relationship between a daughter and their father. That conversation created the spark that prompted O’Brien to brainstorm ways to increase those bonds outside of school in a way that befits the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Founded in 1836 in New York City, the AOH is an Irish Catholic organization whose members are Catholic and either born in Ireland or of Irish descent. After some research, O’Brien found other communities and groups that were hosting similar dances and thought it would be a sweet fit for Newburyport.
As for the dance itself, O’Brien called it a throwback to an earlier time and will feature three hours of “little girl music” spun by a hired disc jockey. When asked what little girl music meant to him, O’Brien said songs by Taylor Swift and other current artists that make little girls scream in delight. For the fathers there will be some classic Beatles songs as well as oldies from that decade and other decades. He said the three-hour AOH Father Daughter Dance will feature a mix of slow songs and fast songs that will allow daughters to dance with their friends as well as their fathers.
About 125 to 150 fathers and daughters are predicted to attend the AOH Father Daughter Dance, which is celebrating its fourth anniversary. O’Brien said holding it inside Newburyport City Hall gives it a vintage community feel as opposed to renting out space at a more glitzy location. And that is part of what O’Brien said makes the dance special and unique in Newburyport, adding that no other organization within city limits hosts a father daughter dance. “It’s not at a fancy place, its a throwback idea,” O’Brien said.
For more information about A Chuisle Mo Chroi/AOH Father Daughter Dance or to order tickets, visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/a-chuisle-mo-chroiaoh-fatherdaughter-dance-2018-tickets-42172038703