Countless hearts were shattered last year when the Pennsbury High School senior prom was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubbed “best prom in America” by Reader’s Digest and Seventeen, the annual event never fails to be unforgettable for students, staff and volunteer parents alike.
Teens arrive in classic cars and jaw-dropping floats in a nearly 3-hour parade, after which family and community members cheer them on as they walk the red carpet.
From there, they explore the gymnasium, hallways and bathrooms, all lavishly decorated to suit a chosen theme.
The night continues with the crowning of the prom king and queen, followed by celebrity entertainment. Past guests included Jersey Shore star DJ Pauly D, and Drake Bell from Nickelodeon’s Drake and Josh.
As the class of 2021 nears the end of its Pennsbury journey, the administration is making sure another group doesn’t miss out on prom – something students anticipate attending from the time they are a freshman.
This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, June 5, at the high school’s East Campus, and will have the theme “Hollywood Nights.” Restrictions surrounding COVID-19 are being implemented.
“We have met with multiple groups of students, including our large prom committee, to gather their ideas on how this could be a really exciting night that takes into account all proper health and safety precautions,” said PHS East Principal Reggie Meadows. “While dancing and a big-name performer are not part of the program, we believe we have developed an alternative plan that will satisfy many and leave a memorable mark in the minds and hearts of our graduating seniors.”
Meadows shared that the altered prom will still include the traditional arrival parade, red carpet entrance and walk-through of the school hallways, which will feature hand-painted murals and 3D art by the prom committee, parents and loyal alumni. Formal attire is encouraged as usual. An outdoor, tented dinner will be provided by a local caterer.
Attendees can enjoy a hypnotist show and performance by the Faculty Band – two other favorite traditions. This year’s rendition of the Faculty Band includes many names familiar to PHS seniors – John Sanders, Mark Cherepko, Jamie Rivera, Steve Myers, Evan Altieri, Jim Moyer and Scott Stout.
Falcon Field will be transformed to allow seniors to gather safely in an outdoor setting. Carnival-style games, music, refreshments and the crowning of the 2021 prom king and queen will be among the planned activities in that venue.
“We also hope to record, live stream and post as much of the event as we can so that family members and friends who are unable to come as spectators can enjoy this year’s senior prom as much as possible,” said Meadows.
More information will come in the following weeks regarding the arrival parade route and spectator locations.
Additionally, since they didn’t get to attend their own prom, students from the class of 2020 are invited as guests. According to Meadows, about 125 of last year’s graduating seniors expressed interest.
The plans described are current as of this date. They may be modified based upon future orders by Gov. Tom Wolf for increased or reduced mitigation efforts.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org