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Behind the scenes at prom 2010!

Get a date. Find a dress. Rent a tux to match. Order flowers. Everyone understands the essential process in which prom-goers participate, but what most are not familiar with is what goes on behind the scenes.

The date for festivities is determined well in advance according to an available time slot in accordance to all other school activities. This year, the Philip High School Prom will be held on March 27 in the Fine Arts gymnasium.

The elaborate planning process begins with the junior class, whose advisors are very involved. Brigitte Brucklacher helps to organize things with planning and food. Pennie Slovek and her art classes assist with artwork and decorations and Barb Bowen also helps with decorations and opens her room for pictures. After the date is set, the real detailing begins. The junior class has to meet and choose a theme. This year's will be Rock N' Roll.

From the theme, decorations are generated and either designed or ordered. Next comes the decision of what to do for music at the dance. The juniors have chosen a DJ to provide this service. There is also the choice of ordering memorabilia prom glasses or t-shirts for those in attendance to purchase. Engraved glasses were offered for sale pre-prom this year. There must also be pictures! It is the junior class' job to line up the photographer. Couples then sign up to take pictures before the Grand March. And who can forget food? The banquet meal is supplied by the juniors' parents and served by volunteer sophomores, who have the option of inviting dates for the activities following the meal.

A common question may be, "What do the seniors contribute to this process?" The answer is, nothing. They get to kick back and enjoy a fun night planned by everyone else, including their own parents.

The parents of the seniors are in charge of the planning and organizing of post-prom activities. In Philip, we are very fortunate to have facilities that allow a fun variety.

Now, when the day of prom finally comes around, here is what usually happens.

Most of the girls spend several hours getting ready, which includes doing the hair, applying the make-up and assembling the dress and shoes in a secure fashion while coordinating jewelry to match.

As for the guys ... after a quick shower and stepping into the tux, it's a straightening of the tie and a comb through the hair.

At the school, couples arrive to take pictures, and wait for the Grand March to begin. During this extravagant event, the couples are announced as they stroll through a runway in front of the local audience; most of which came to view the pretty girls in their elegant dresses and the handsome men all dressed up. The announcement and crowning of the king and queen, voted on upon arrival by PHS juniors and seniors, is also done at this time. All PHS seniors are eligible.

Following Grand March, the public is asked to leave. For the students attending prom is the banquet and a short thank you from the senior class president to the juniors. The junior class president then gives a response. This year, there is planned to be a hypnotist in addition to the speeches. Still in formal wear, the students are invited to attend the dance in the decorated gymnasium. After that, the formal clothing is ditched for a more casual attire to be worn to the next stop: bowling, generally complete with blacklights and music. There are occasional contests to do some trick bowling for monetary prizes.

Next on the agenda is a movie at the theater around 2:00 a.m. From there they advance to the final stop, breakfast. At every location, attendees are encouraged to sign up their names at the door to be considered in the prize drawings. The prizes range from gift certificates to mini refrigerators and TVs. The larger prizes are often limited to PHS seniors only, but others are open to everyone. The senior parents along with local businesses generously supply most of the prizes.

With all of the preparatory work complete, it's time to cross our fingers in hopes for good weather. In last year's case, an inconveniently timed blizzard created a chaotic reconfiguration. Several out of town dates couldn't make it due to the storm and the parking lot had to be uncovered from a blanket of snow. Some dates even matched up with others whose dates were unable to make it. Last I knew, Mother Nature didn't accept bribes, so I guess we can only hope for the best!