For the first time in PHS history, prom is planned outdoors

For the first time in Poolesville High School history, the prom for juniors and seniors will be at an outdoor venue. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the dance will be held at the High Points Event Center in Clarksburg, MD from 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM, with this year’s theme as Enchanted Garden. With last year’s prom canceled due to the virus and ensuing lockdown, the junior SGA, tasked with planning prom, took numerous measures to ensure prom was held. Fortunately, COVID has lessened its impact, and the mask mandate for Montgomery County has ended. The junior class sponsor, Michelle Hunsicker-Blair, has been critical in making the decisions that will shape the prom. 

Some of the most talked-about decisions she and the junior SGA have made include the venue, the decision to have prom outside, and the theme. The High Points Event Center was chosen after much research and discussion. The main factors that influenced the decision were the size and safety protocols each venue had. Hunsicker-Blair had already been to an event at this center, so she had a place in mind when they were discussing plans. Planning began nearly at the start of the school year when there was uncertainty regarding prom even happening. 

“One of the biggest decisions was the mask issue,” Blair said. The consensus among students was that they wanted a prom with no masks, so the planning committee chose a place with an outdoor setting that could also accommodate people in tents if there was a weather emergency. The theme of the prom, Enchanted Garden, was chosen to fit in well with the outdoorsy nature of the event. 

“I binged-watched teenage movies about prom and school dances in preparation,” Blair stated. Moreover, she talked with countless students planning on attending the prom and used their input to decide on things like Prom royalty and entertainment. This year’s entertainment will include a performance from the band Reasonably Untamed. Entry is $60 per ticket with a free Post-Prom planned where students can win prizes such as Airpods and computers. 

Seniors will have their first and last prom this year, and they are excited about the event. 

“It represents a return to normal,” said senior Dale Ren. After an irregular high school experience, seniors will get the chance to end their final year normally. Seniors seem to understand why the prom is outside and are happy with it. Though it’s a departure from the typical hotel prom is held in, having prom itself is more important to seniors like Ren.