The high school prom — a tradition that has been alive for over 55 years — has finally made a comeback after a difficult year of dealing with the pandemic.
Parents of the Port Jefferson Prom Planning Committee have spent months trying to configure an ideal prom for the students in spite of the continually changing COVID-19 guidelines New York was enforcing.
Although the prom took place at The Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station rather than at the high school, the committee was still able to go above and beyond while staying consistent with their selected carnival theme.
“I feel like this has been a bright light at the end of a long tunnel, and to be able to give the kids and the community a chance to get together to make this happen has just been a gift,” said Kim Muffly, a member of the prom planning committee. “It really has been an incredible experience.”
Since 1958, Port Jefferson has held their prom at the high school and has been fully orchestrated by the parents who rely on funding from donors and sponsors, as well as countless volunteer hours.
Each year the prom has a different theme, each one lavishly decorated by the parents to make the students feel fully immersed in their prom experience. The first prom in 1958 was themed “April in Paris” and this year the committee decided on a carnival theme.
Stilt walkers, tarot card readers, jugglers, contortionists, caricature artists, clowns, carnival games, and smokey Moroccan-themed areas with couches were set up inside, and outside the venue. All topped off with a striped carnival tent to make students feel as if they were really at the circus.
“I tried to think of a theme that would be a little more flexible because we weren’t sure what the COVID restrictions would be like,” Muffly said. “No matter where we had the prom we could keep the carnival theme, even if it was outside in the football field.”
Since a fire damaged in The Meadow Club banquet hall in 2018, inevitably shutting the building down for a few years, the venue has since revamped its space with brand new reconstruction and an elegant design.
According to Kiran Wadhwa, owner of the Meadow Club, the senior prom is just one of a few recent events the venue has taken pleasure in working with. The members of the Port Jefferson prom planning committee and the students were extremely grateful for the venue’s support and welcoming atmosphere.
“I don’t think I realized what a big deal this was until guests just kept coming up to me consistently saying thank you, thank you, thank you,” Wadhwa said. “I thought it was such a beautiful thing to see how the community really comes together.”