The return of prom is a sign that things are getting back to normal for some Moody County students.
Both Flandreau and Colman-Egan high schools are bringing back prom activities this year, after COVID-19 precautions caused schools to cancel the events, and all other student activities, last spring.
Flandreau students will come together Saturday under the theme, “Midnight in the Midwest.” Grand March begins at 8 p.m., and each student who is attending has four tickets to give to family or friends who will then be allowed to watch. They, along with students, will be required to wear masks. Students may remove their masks when it is their turn to walk in the Grand March.
About 30 couples and three single students have signed up to attend. All dates have to be other Flandreau students.
“We didn’t allow any outside visitors this time because of our Covid precautions,” said Alaina Stoutland, junior class adviser.
Students also will get individually portioned snacks and pop during the event. Photos will be taken in a separate area by school staff, without parents present. Students are getting more excited, Stoutland said. “At first it didn’t seem like it. I think it’s becoming more real to them.”
At Colman-Egan, about 25 couples are signed up for prom on April 16, with its theme “Wish Upon a Star.” Grand March will begin at 8 p.m., with doors open at 7:30 p.m. Guests are welcome to watch the Grand March but will be required to wear masks.
Colman-Egan students are allowed to bring dates from outside of the school, said Principal Scott Hemmer. They also will have an after-prom party organized by parents at a venue in Sioux Falls.
Students were reserved about their excitement at first, after last year’s prom and all other spring activities were canceled, Hemmer said. They didn’t know whether they should believe it would actually happen.
“Any activities they get to do, they’re excited about it, more so with the spring activities because that’s where they missed out,” he said.
Flandreau juniors decided to use the decorations this year’s seniors bought last year because there were fewer opportunities to raise money to pay for different ones.
“It should be really pretty,” said Junior Isabella Pavlis, who describes the night as a country garden setting.
Pavlis, who has worked on putting decorations together, said because events like the state basketball tournament, prom and spring sports were taken away last year, students are excited for the return of prom this year. The concessions of wearing masks and not bringing a date from another school is fine because at least they get to have prom, she said.
“Everything that we get to do now is so much better. I don’t think we realized last year everything could be taken away from us,” she said.
Even though she bought a dress last year that she never got to wear, she decided to treat herself to a different dress this year. “I get really excited to get prettied up with my friends, just to have a night to be your best self,” she said.
After her friends get ready together, they will take in all the traditions of taking photos, going out to eat, attending the Grand March and dancing and socializing.
After the dancing ends, parents are hosting an event that includes a trip to Air Madness, a trampoline park in Sioux Falls, with an end time of 5 a.m.
“I’m super excited. I really love prom,” Pavlis said.