Parking Lot Prom Keeps the Fun of Prom without the Crazy Expectations

Lily Heddinghaus, Staff Writer

The Class of 2021 is finally getting its prom. 

After the COVID-19 lockdown canceled its junior prom, the class hoped to have a relatively normal senior prom, but the pandemic’s lingering effects ruined that, too. 

However, a group of students in Sairee Knabe’s Honors Psychology class took matters into their own hands. 

Mrs. Knabe has been the head of the prom committee for 10 years. She explained to her class that the school can’t host a “normal” prom because of the indoor capacity limit at the original venue. So her psychology students proposed an outdoor prom in the student parking lot. 

“As long as someone puts a speaker in the school parking lot so we can dance, we will have fun,” senior Tad Winslow said. 

Parking Lot Prom started as a joke, but the students ran with the idea. 

“I did think it was a joke at first and was kinda shocked that [the seniors] suggested it,” Mrs. Knabe said. “But I decided to go with it. Now, I love it. There is no way that this event would be happening if it wasn’t for the fabulous seniors in the class.”

The class collaborated with Mrs. Knabe to find a theme, pick out decorations, write announcements and decide what would make the event perfect for the graduating class. 

“Mrs. Knabe has taken our opinions into account in every decision for Parking Lot Prom,” Winslow said. “She has asked us questions about everything from who she should contact about donations down to the little things like the prom sticker we put on the back of our I.D.s when we buy a ticket.”

The event will take place in the EHS main parking lot on April 24 from 6-8:30 p.m. Only seniors and graduating juniors can attend; no outside guests or younger students will be allowed entry to ensure that the event will comply with county guidelines. 

Tickets go on sale April 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 in Room A229 and will be sold before and after school for $10. Mrs. Knabe will also allow seniors to purchase tickets on the night of prom because she believes every senior should be able to attend, even if it is a last-minute decision. 

The dance’s theme is “Sneaker Gala,” and seniors are invited to pair their formal prom attire with their favorite kicks. Everything will be similar to a normal prom, except that it is outside: there will be a DJ, food donated from local businesses, giveaways and photo backdrops where local photographer Rick Brewer of Ricks Pics Photography will be taking photos free of charge.

While some students question whether Parking Lot Prom will be a success, Mrs. Knabe is doing everything she can to make this event extraordinary given the circumstances. 

“I am so excited for this prom,” Mrs. Knabe said. “I think this event is getting at the heart of what a school event should be… a chance to come together and have fun. Past proms were getting a little crazy with expectations, but COVID-19 has forced us to rethink what is important. I hope that everyone makes the most of the night.”