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A map of the Central Prom Car Cruise for anyone wanting to join in. (Submitted photo)

It’s prom season, and that means it’s time to start planning how to get seniors and juniors at one of their most memorable events. With COVID still being a factor, it’s no surprise that prom is going to be a little unique for schools this year. Norwood Young America’s Central Schools has a plan in place, though, thanks to the efforts of their Prom and Post Prom committees.

For everyone’s sake, the prom is put together by school staff. This normally includes dinner, the dance, and decorating of a specific location for prom, last from 6pm-11pm. Post Prom is the after party put on by parents, which includes music, games, a hypnotist, and prizes. Because of COVID, both had to deal with certain restrictions, so a plan was set in motion: they could work together to make a memorable prom with staples from both groups.

“We had to shorten up, since we couldn’t do the dance thanks to COVID,” said Kelly Street, one of Central’s teachers who organizes prom. “So we joined forces with Post Prom since we have the space to do a lot for prom and a party.”

Once they joined forces, it was time to start planning. There were already a few things that couldn’t be done due to COVID restrictions, including the prom dance. This wasn’t too big of a hurdle, since joining forces with Post Prom meant that the dance could be replaced with the normal festivities.

With restrictions and ideas in mind, the two groups created a plan. Similar to last year, it will begin with a Post Prom Car Cruise on the Young America side of the highway at 3pm. The cruise will start at the bus garage near the elementary school. It will then head to Friendship Park SW 4th Street, hop on Central Ave and take that all the way to Main Street. The cruise will be on Main Street for a couple blocks before heading back via SE 2nd Street.

All in all, the parade will last about an hour, and they have to stay on that schedule because starting at 4pm the students have to line up for Grand March. Because of COVID, parents are going to have to sit this one out. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t see the March. To have parents join in on the fun, the school is planning on livestreaming the Grand March at 4:30pm on Facebook. Even if a parent can’t make it for the livestream, the March will be uploaded to Youtube for viewing afterward.

After Grand March, students will have a formal dinner at 5pm. Once dinner is finished, the party begins. Post Prom activities include music, games, snacks, and more. At 11pm, a hypnotist will come in and entertain students and chaperons alike to close out the night. As part of the games, once the hypnotist is done with their show, grand prize winners will be announced.

So, despite a pandemic, Central’s Prom and Post Prom committees have worked hard to make a night to remember.

“We were pretty adamant that we wanted to give the kids a prom,” said Street. “The students are excited, we’re excited.”

Juniors and Seniors can attend this year’s prom, which is taking place on May 1. There are two different tickets to purchase. The first is a full prom ticket, including the dinner. The second is only for Post Prom, so students that just want to join the party can do so. Tickets can purchased from the high school media center until April 23, so it’s best to get them as soon as possible.

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