We're in the heart of Prom season, and it's interesting to see what various schools do for their junior-senior Prom events especially when I think back to my high school days, back in the day
For the past few years, I've been involved in the Prom and Post-Prom activities at Emmetsburg High School; primarily working with the Grand March of students in their Prom finery. For me, the Grand March was something that wasn't done back in my time probably a good thing I could just see myself tripping and taking a header in front of the assembled multitudes.
But, I knew that schools up in Minnesota did this, and I found that in the years after I graduated, the practice was embraced in our area and is now a favorite event for the students, their parents, families and friends and community members as well!
Now, Prom always had a theme, something catchy for the times, like "Stairway to Heaven" or "A Night In Paradise" you get the idea. Back in the day, the gentlemen didn't rent tuxedos for the night we wore our suits. Today, that's not often seen. The gentleman rents a tux with tie and vest that will compliment or match his date's dress for the evening.
I do know there are a couple of tux companies out there with full camouflage fashions, ala` Duck Dynasty, but none were spotted this year by my sharply trained eyes.
One constant over the years has been the young ladies' dresses and gowns. From solid pastel and basic colors in my day to colorful patterns and bright neon colors, along with the basics today, the dresses still remain breathtaking in most cases prompting many a Dad to wipe away a tear as they realize their little girl is growing up Yes, I've seen this happen on more than one occasion but we will not identify any of those proud Dads your secret is safe.
The standard Prom has always revolved around a meal and a dance, and with the times, other aspects have been added to the event. There are opportunities for Prom Goers to attend church prior to their Prom or opportunities for a mini "Grand March" at nursing homes, which provide a great treat for the residents to see the young people decked out in their finery.
Perhaps a limousine ride to the Grand March is on the agenda. I've seen horse-drawn carriages bring couples to the Grand March, an old fashioned hayrack, charter bus and in one case, heard of a young man who brought his date to the Prom in Dad's new tractor, the young man proudly wheeling the big machine up to the school doors, leaving the Valets puzzled at how to park the beast.
In the past few years, post-prom activities have become very commonplace as parents and community members have joined together to offer the youth a safe atmosphere following the evening's events. Casino Night events have been popular, along with entertainment by hypnotists, which make the kids the stars of the show and give them and their friends plenty to talk about and remember. Other activities, such as inflatable mazes and obstacle courses, games such as laser tag and movies have been followed up by prize drawings and breakfasts to bring a memorable evening to a close.
My Prom days were well before the era of the Post-Prom gatherings began. I recall going to the home of friends of my date for breakfast the next morning, after we'd attended the dance and a late movie - "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the old Grand Theater in downntown Estherville. And, by the way, the movie was shown complete with toast, rice, waterguns and umbrellas!
Times change I know that, everyone knows that. But, I have heard in the past couple of years that some kids feel they should have more done for them at Prom time.
To me, that's a little selfish a lot of people are making a lot of sacrifices as it is to try and give these young people a safe and memorable Prom event. I'm not sure where this sense of "entitlement" if that's the right word, is coming from.
For all the kids who can't wait to leave this area when they get out of school there are a lot who felt the same way 10 years ago, and are now coming back to their hometowns. To me, that's proof that the biggest and the brightest isn't always the best most of the time, the best way is the simplest way.