February 22, 2018
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City of Cotati upcoming events: Family dance and photo contest

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
January 26, 2018

On Saturday, Feb. 10, Cotati will host its first ever “Sweethearts Fairytale Dance,” a special event meant for children ages 3 to 12 and their caregivers. The dance will be held in the Cotati Room behind city hall.

“The father daughter dance is kind of traditional – what it has been most of the time,” says Ashley Wilson, Recreation Coordinator for Cotati who started the dance because she didn’t see anything like this offered in the immediate area. “But I want to encourage as many people to come as possible – not just fathers and daughters. Sometimes your Mom is your Dad too!”

The dance will run from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., with the idea being that families can come when it best suits them – earlier for the younger children and later for the older ones. Everyone is welcome, not just Cotati residents.

Wilson thought holding the event around Valentine’s Day would be perfect timing, being after the holiday festivities have ended but before Easter and other spring and summer activities start. 

“It’s not a Valentine’s dance but I think this time of year is a good time to celebrate that,” says Wilson. “People are already looking for Valentine’s things to do and I think it’s cute to have your kids be your Valentine too – not just your partner!”

The dance will feature, of course, hosted music and dancing, as well as breakouts for family games, sweet treats and crafts to go along with the fairytale theme such as making fairy wands, crowns and tiaras. The dance will also have a photo booth to capture the special moment. Wilson is in the process of trying to secure some other fun surprises such as hiring a real princess and a face painter and putting in a beauty salon. Everything at the dance will be included in the cost - $30 per couple with $10 for each additional child. 

The dance has space for about 35 to 40 couples and interested participants are encouraged to sign up ahead of time by registering online through the City of Cotati website or by calling 707-665-4222.

“I think it’s going to be really fun,” says Wilson. “I keep finding all kinds of ideas of how to make it really cute inside. If everything comes together I think it’s going to be really cute and magical – just a wholesome, fun night for families.”

Other community centered events to come to Cotati, including an amateur photographer contest. Local amateur photographers may have a chance to see their work displayed publicly if their images are chosen by the City of Cotati to be used for their new website and other public media. Residents are encouraged to submit photos by the end of this month to participate in the photo contest, started by the city to obtain more images that can be used for collateral such as newsletters, the activity guide and new street banners.

“We demoed our draft website (we’re working on a new website as well as street light banners) at a city council meeting,” says Damien O’Bid, Cotati City Manager. “In the course of that discussion we were talking about some of the images on the website and the banners. One of the council members came up with the idea [of the photo contest]. There are other good photos out there and a lot of good photographers in the community. We thought if we put it out to the community we might get some great images about things that resonate with people in Cotati – why they love Cotati, why they think it’s unique, and what makes it special.”

The city is hoping for images that, at a glance, epitomize what Cotati is about and shows the city’s sense of place. 

“We use images in our street light banner program,” says O’Bid. “The images that we had picked were images that we felt were things that, at a glance, people would recognize as Cotati without having to look at them too long.”

The city has already received several submissions, and hopes it will receive more by the end of January. Based on the submissions, they may consider extending the deadline for the contest, or possibly holding future contests. In addition, they are also considering putting all the submissions back out into the community for residents to vote on. 

“That’s what our current thinking is,” says O’Bid, “that once we get all the images in from this photo contest, we would put them back out to the community to get a consensus of what people think the most relevant and representative images are – the kinds of things that ideally, if you see it think, ‘oh, that’s Cotati’.” 

Interested participants are asked to send their photos to the city by email to info@cotaticity.org. Photos must be in JPG format and be no larger than a total of 15 MB in size. Multiple submissions are accepted, and must have the photographer’s name and contact information included.