Prom plans adapt due to pandemic


Typical NHS prom is hosted in Ravenscroft Gym, however, due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s prom will be moved to a new location. (Photo of prom 2019 by Matt Olson)

Addie Clayton, Reporter

Prom season is right around the corner and approaching fast. Last year, prom at Newton High School was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and although COVID-19 is still active, NHS will be able to host a prom for its students once again this year. NHS prom will be a little different this year due to mandated COVID-19 precautionary measures. Normally, prom is held in Ravenscroft Gym however this year, according to prom sponsor Shanda Swanson, prom is being planned as an outdoor event at the Athletic Park bandshell on May 1.

Precautions will be taken and all students will be wearing masks. Hosting prom outside will make it easier for students and staff to social distance. On the other hand, if it rains or the weather is bad prom will most likely be cancelled according to Swanson. As for food, StuCo is currently working on that aspect but knows that it will most likely not be a full meal. A lot of the planning for prom is still up in the air and StuCo is still brainstorming ideas according to Swanson. 

“It wouldn’t be my first choice of venue but I am thankful that we still get to have a prom since COVID has been ruining lots of events,” senior Myriah Nicholson said. 

A survey of 61 juniors and seniors reported that 77% of the students are excited for prom. Some students said they did not want to get their hopes up and that they will be excited closer to the event day according to the survey results. 

“I am most looking forward to getting ready and taking pictures beforehand, because that part is always the most fun to me,” junior Daisy Buller said. “Since I am on StuCo, we will have to go set up. I think what I am least looking forward to is having to clean up either at night afterwards or the next morning.”

Approximately 88% of the students surveyed said they still plan to attend prom in spite of the location change. 

“Some people might love or hate the idea of it being outside but regardless of where it is, people love to dress up and have fun so I think there will be a good amount of people attending,” Nicholson said.

About 70% of the students surveyed said they will be purchasing new dresses or tuxes this year. Other students are planning to borrow dresses or tuxes from friends or family members or wear things they have in previous years according to the survey results.

“I will not be buying a dress. I borrowed one from someone for prom last year and still want to wear it. A lot of people that I know have dresses that I like a lot so I think that borrowing dresses from year to year is a good way to save money, but going dress shopping is really fun as well,” Buller said. 

NHS is not the only local school having prom this year. Halstead High School is planning to have their prom per usual. They are currently in the process of planning their prom according to HHS principal Joe Gerber. Unlike NHS, Halstead is planning to have their prom indoors.

Hesston High School, on the other hand, is having their prom completely hosted by parents in their after prom committee. They are having their prom a few miles south of Hesston at Son Wray Ranch. The venue has a lot of space to accommodate COVID-19 safety guidelines according to HHS principal Ty Rhodes. NHS plans to also follow the recommended COVID-19 safety guidelines when hosting prom according to Swanson. 

“We’ve had so much taken from us the past year, I’m really excited to have an event with my classmates one last time before we move on. I’m not looking forward to what could happen if someone at prom were to test positive for COVID right after prom, because that could potentially cause the whole junior and senior classes to have to quarantine, but we’ll cross that bridge if we get there,” senior Madyson Groves said.