HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Prom season was nonexistent in Pennsylvania last year, and it’s going to look different this year. School districts and community leaders are getting creative to find ways to celebrate seniors.
abc27 asked the state Department of Health whether it’s giving school districts any guidance or recommendations for proms this spring. It responded by saying it will continue to look at data and examine mitigation efforts, meaning as of now, it’s up to the districts themselves.
“When I saw it, I really, really liked it,” Central Dauphin senior Emily Cook said about her prom dress. “I liked that it was more of a halter top.”
Cook is one of many high schoolers thrilled for prom.
“I know the seniors especially have been waiting for this moment for a while,” said Cody Ranck, a Central Dauphin senior. “It gives us a sense of hope and normalcy.”
“Just having a good time and spending some time with some friends,” said Thomas Leipart, a Susquehanna Township sophomore.
“It’s reassuring,” said Sean Robinson, a Central Dauphin senior. “I think it’s definitely a bonus from last year because the seniors didn’t get to experience that, so to be able to experience that, I have to be grateful.”
Central Dauphin’s prom is going to be outside under a tent with masks required.
“We’re going to have a food truck, multiple food trucks, a DJ,” said Robinson.
“It may not be a normal prom, but it’s prom nonetheless,” said Ranck.
Midstate school districts are handling festivities differently.
The School District of Lancaster is hosting a gala for seniors only, in the football stadium, with a food tent.
Cumberland Valley’s prom will also be outside for just CV students. There will be a live-streamed red carpet entrance and yard games.
Central York’s will be in its courtyard, and limits guests to students in the district too.
Meanwhile, West Shore and Harrisburg district officials tell us they’re not hosting traditional proms, but will have other special events for seniors.
Whether a district is or isn’t holding a dance, there are still options for students who feel comfortable celebrating.
“I’m really looking forward to having the smaller scale prom here at the church,” said Cook.
“They’ll have a photo booth,” said Pastor Terry Lamer of Harrisburg First Assembly of God. “Of course food and some dancing.”
Harrisburg First Assembly of God is hosting an event May 7.
It’s welcoming all seniors who are already going to prom and are looking for a safe after-party, who want an extra formal or who may have had their prom canceled.
“The cost is 40 dollars,” said Pastor Lamor. “We’re just opening it up for kids that want to come out and be a part of it. We felt like it was necessary to give back some of the things that kids have lost over the last year.”
Pre-registration is required.
“It’s kind of more laid back but at the same time it’s still that prom experience that most high school kids are looking for,” said Cook.
State health officials say everyone still has to follow event and gathering limitations.
Information about the event at Harrisburg First Assembly of God can be found on the church’s website.