Tags Posts tagged with "Port Jefferson Prom"

Port Jefferson Prom

by -
0 657
The Port Jefferson Prom Committee. Photo by Drew Biondo

With current state mandates and guidelines, Port Jefferson’s prom committee announced it will no longer be putting on the annual, parent-run extravaganza this year. Instead the Prom Committee announced Thursday it would instead be holding an event at a local restaurant.

While tentative plans had the prom going on in August, after the Port Jefferson School District hosts its tentatively scheduled graduation the first weekend of that month. On its Facebook page, the Port Jefferson Prom Committee announced it will be unable to host the traditional prom at the high school or even at the Village Center, where the district is planning its own graduation celebrations.

“This decision is not ours alone — it is based upon guidance from New York State regarding social distancing requirements due to COVID-19,” the original post reads.

On July 16, the committee announced on its Facebook page it would be holding an event at Insignia, a steakhouse and sushi restaurant in Smithtown. The committee wrote it will be able to host all 85 seniors in a socially distanced way over a four-course dinner. The date is set for Aug. 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. Parents should receive an email with additional details and a chance to RSVP.

“We also have some surprises planned for the evening,” the post added.

This is the first year since the tradition started in 1958 that district parents will not be hosting a prom. Normally, members on the committee vote on a theme, then parents and volunteers spend the next 10 months building the sets and fundraising to host the event. Last year’s theme of Royalodeon transformed the high school gym, hallways and bathrooms into a kind of late ’90s and early 2000s wonderland, featuring characters from many children’s cartoons and shows.

The cars lined up along the drive to Earl L. Vandermeulen High School, and besides the sounds of running motors, the graduating seniors could express nothing but awe. The entire front face of the high school was dressed in a shawl of ’90s and early 2000s nostalgia. Above the entrance, dressed on a large orange blimp calling back to the classic Nickelodeon channel logo, was a sign reading Royalodeon. 

The parents of the Port Jeff graduates and members of the prom committee spent hour upon hour of their own time to help construct the pieces to the prom in the months leading up to graduation, and the entire final construction, bringing it to the high school, was done over the previous weekend.

Port Jefferson residents got to experience their efforts the evening of July 1, before the students saw it for the first time. Inside was a splattering of ’90s cartoons, from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to “The Wild Thornberrys” to “Rugrats,” and the entire dining area designed around “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Lanterns were dressed like jellyfish, hanging from the gym ceiling, and to one side a fully stocked glass case filled with candy was accompanied by cardboard stands of the characters from “Drake & Josh.”

Students arrived awed, not only by the design of the prom but also the number of parents who came to watch their kids walk the red carpet. Kids came ferried in sports cars, but some came in more outlandish style, arriving via boat, the Port Jefferson Jitney, a Qwik Rides Car and even a rickshaw.