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SHS Prom The Roaring Twenties

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Senior Brandon Pinto said, “It was a night I’ll never forget!” and Jaren Luebbers said, “It was fun and I was glad to finally have something normal again, especially after having the mask mandate lifted.”

The Junior/Senior Prom was held at SHS on Saturday, April 17. The theme was “The Roaring 20’s”. 

And no one knew if it would really happen. This year has been filled with uncertainty and prom was no exception. But the junior class pulled it off, with a few restrictions. Class president, Miles Stum, explained,“Things were not looking so great, unlikely we would have a prom, so we did not have any further fundraisers after the magazine sales at the beginning of the year.” 

Students were anxious until six weeks before when they got the okay. 

“It was cutting short our planning time but we were able to pull it off!” Stum though things went smooth and felt the students had fun. “It was great to have a school dance since it’s been over a year.”

The Commons Area was  beautifully decorated. The main course was Chicken Alfredo, served by The Black Bison Pub. Class sponsors are Trina Stum, Trudi Rash, John Le and Tomas Gonzalez. 

The evening’s festivities began with the annual promenade at 7:00. Students lined up and made their way down Main street, unloading at the east entrance of the high school.  They came in a limousine, their grandparent’s classic cars, some sports cars, and pickups. All were shined up, adding to the awe of the students, dressed in their formal gowns, and the guys in tuxedos, suits and sport coats. 

When they arrived and got out of their vehicles, pausing on the sidewalk for many pictures taken by the crowd of friends and family members. Their mode of transportation was then driven away by family or friends. There was a contest amongst some to see who could still do a burnout, and get away with it, or make the most noise, a crowd pleaser for sure. 

The students then proceeded up the sidewalk, which was lined with family and friends, towards the Commons Area, pausing to introduce themselves at the microphone. 

The promenade has been a long-standing tradition. When the dance and banquet was held in the Barney Akers Gym, spectators would gather on the lawn, the sidewalk and people parked in their cars anticipating the arrival of the students. After the new school was built, spectators would watch on the west side as the students arrived. 

While the arrival has changed over the years, something that has not changed is the excitement of watching the students arrive, dressed in their best, some almost unrecognizable. Over the years, the spectators are curious of the mode of transportation which the students arrive in. There have been limousines, classic cars, tractors, combines, motorcycles, horses and ATV’s.

Another tradition is the After Prom party. The first organized After Prom party was in 1984, hosted by Bill and Linda Thomeczek, now Linda Englert. They owned Hill Top Lanes at the time and had a connection with students through their youth bowling league. They also had children in high school and knew of large parties at the river that included kegs of beer. Their concern was someone was going to get hurt or killed. 

They installed a pool and hot tub and decided to open their home to juniors, seniors, their dates, sophomore servers and faculty. She remembers thinking, “Would anyone come, since they were used to partying at the river?” Students were welcome to come and go throughout the night. “Some came drunk, and we would sober them up and they spent the night,” said Linda. They did not ask any questions, parents were not notified, they simply opened their home for the kids. They could swim, play games, watch movies, and enjoy food throughout the night. 

After six years, they no longer had children in high school so they passed the torch to Dave and Jenny Schwieterman. 

The Schwietermans, also had a pool and hot tub and were willing to open their home. 

After their children graduated, the event was held at different locations in town, with students voting on locations, with most held at the Barney Akers Gym. 

This year the After Prom was held at the Hamilton County Fair Grounds with food and games in the Fair Building and blow-up games in the butler building. 

 With only a few weeks to raise funds and prepare, senior parents and organizers of the event, Deb Mitchell and Carol Limon said, “Believe it or not, we really did not have any hiccups, everything went smooth!” There were plumbing issues in the Fair Building so the 4-H Building was opened up for restrooms. 

The Bungee Run was a party favorite because it was busy all night, “Even some of the parents tried it out.” Limon was especially appreciative of the parents who helped set and keep everything running smoothly. 

 Senior Hannah Lampe was thankful. “It was my first and last prom and I had a blast!” 

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