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WHS prom during pandemic looking a little different

Worthington's event is Saturday.

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WORTHINGTON — In planning for Worthington High School's 2021 prom, school administrators and the student prom committee have focused on striking a balance between caution and tradition.

One of the biggest changes to prom this year is the length. Normally, the event would last until 4:30 or 5 a.m. the next day, but the party this year will wrap up around 1 a.m.

Community members like to watch the Grand March, where promgoers walk into the dance with their dates and show off their fancy outfits. To limit the number of people onsite, explained WHS principal Josh Noble, District 518 has opted to livestream the Grand March Saturday night to the district's website and Facebook page, as well as Cable 3. The march is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

"We are still trying to tell kids we need to be smart," Noble said.

The Minnesota Department of Education recommended a dance-less prom with students sitting in chairs six feet apart. WHS administrators decided that it wouldn't really be a prom without including dancing, but they're also emphasizing that students need to be cautious.

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Some distancing is built into the event. In previous years, prom has included a sit-down meal, but instead, WHS has secured food trucks to set up in the parking lot. This way, students aren't all eating at the same time and have more space to spread out.

The evening will finish with a hypnotist presentation in the main gym, where bleachers will allow students to social distance.

The prom committee contemplated a masquerade theme as a nod to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Noble said the students opted to keep it simple, choosing colors rather than a specific theme.

"They just wanted to have a prom," he said.

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