Convention center rolls out red carpet for prom
After months of preparation, the big day is almost here.
In a matter of days, Fairfield High School students will ride in their tractors, convertibles and practically every other form of transportation under the sun to the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center for prom. The prom parade starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at the high school. The parade is sponsored by The Fairfield Elks.
Vehicles usually begin lining up outside the high school at 7:15 p.m. The parade will proceed west on Broadway Avenue, then turn north onto Main Street toward the convention center. The parade is expected to last about an hour.
Couples will be introduced to the crowd of spectators as they exit their vehicles outside the convention center. Bleachers will be available for anyone who needs to take a seat for a little while or for anyone who simply wants a better view of the students in their fancy dresses and tuxedos. Seating is limited, and it will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Once inside, students can elect to have their photo taken before slipping into their dance shoes for three hours of whirling, twirling and grooving from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Prom coordinator Amy Megrath said the theme this year is “Masquerade in the moonlight,” which would feature masks, beads, bright colors and balloons.
The dance that night is just the tip of an iceberg of entertainment. The after prom party starts immediately after the dance and lasts from midnight to 3 a.m. at the high school. Marni Adam, one of the junior parents who is putting on the after prom, said she would like all students to sign in to the after prom party by 12:45 a.m.
More than $7,500 worth of prizes will be handed out during the after prom. The prizes include items such as two 32-inch smart televisions, a mini-refrigerator, a Samsung tablet, headphones, tickets to a St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball game, cash prizes and many others.
For the past few years, the after prom party has featured games in the commons and in the gymnasium. Adam said there would be games again this year such as Ping-Pong, carpetball, bean bag toss and others. In addition, a hypnotist will entertain the students from 1-2 a.m.
The Trojan Athletic Boosters Club will provide pizza for the students. Fairfield Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store will prepare a pancake and sausage breakfast for them, too.
Adam said about 10-15 junior parents help in the preparation and execution of the after prom. Some of them began planning as early as last year’s prom, when they took notes about fundraising from that year’s juniors parents. She said a book containing photographs and important information is passed down from one year’s after prom committee to the next.
Fundraising for the after prom began last fall and has generated $8,000. Adam said the people of Fairfield are lucky to live in a town with such generous businesses.
“It costs a minimum of $5,000 to put on the after prom,” she said. “With the extra donations, we were able to pay for the hypnotist and try something a little bit different regarding our food choices.”
Adam said 100 percent of the money raised goes back to the students in the form of prizes and entertainment.
“In other words, we don’t waste money on decorations,” she said.
Adam said participation in the after prom has grown year after year thanks to the sponsoring businesses and the help of so many parent volunteers.
“It’s great to have these parents step forward to ensure the kids have a safe place to go,” she said. “We work hard to make the after prom appealing. We want to provide a place where the students want to be, because the whole objective is for them to continue the celebration with their peers in a safe environment.”
Adam continued, “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the support of local businesses and volunteers. I know businesses are always getting hit up for donations, and a lot of what we do wouldn’t be possible without them.”