Prom is on for York County juniors and seniors
While most schools canceled prom this year, the Out Door Country Club is holding an event for juniors and seniors who are still looking to celebrate this summer.
The Aug. 8 prom was planned at the Manchester Township venue back in May pending state reopening plans, and now that York County is in the green phase and can host gatherings of up to 250 people, tickets officially went on sale July 1.
Tickets are $75 per person and include a three-course dinner, red carpet entrance, photo booth, DJ and dancing — and even a throne for the prom king and queen.
Susie Pickett, communications and special events coordinator for the club, said staff will cap the event at 100 to 150 guests.
"We don’t want to facilitate a huge event at this point to make sure everybody’s safe," she said.
As of Tuesday, tickets had been sold to students from Dallastown Area, Dover Area, Red Lion Area, Northeastern, South Eastern, Spring Grove Area, Southern York County, West York Area, York City and York Suburban school districts.
York County School of Technology and Christian School of York students have also purchased tickets, and a few more were requested from York Catholic High School and York Country Day School.
A total of 60 had been sold so far.
Some districts, such as Hanover Public and Northeastern, are taking a cautious approach to the event and not marketing it to their students or encouraging them to attend.
“That’s up to the family. We’re not getting involved in that at all. That’s entirely up to the individual," said Hanover Senior High School Principal Rina Houck when reached Thursday.
Her district on June 28 canceled its own prom because of safety reasons, and Houck said the district is remaining neutral on the outside event.
Northeastern High School Principal Matthew Gay said he was unsure of what protocols Out Door had in place so he could not comment whether it was safe for students.
Out Door is located on a golf course, with outdoor seating that connects to a ballroom.
Logistically, social distancing can be maintained by spacing tables around the dance floor in the club's L-shaped ballroom, with extra high-top tables outside. All food will be served to avoid contamination from buffets, and all staff will wear masks and gloves.
Though students are not required to wear masks, they will be provided and are encouraged, Pickett said. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the space.
The state Department of Health attested to the large gathering being allowed under the green phase but noted students would not be exempt from the governor's universal masking order.
"All Pennsylvanians need to take the proper steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, like washing hands, social distancing and wearing a mask," said deputy press secretary Maggi Mumma in an email.
The club has hosted a handful of events since its reopening in June, Pickett said, and utilized large, 8-foot round tables with two to six seated at each.
"We’ve been pleased at how we can set up the rooms," she said.
As for the dancing, she said she's still waiting on more guidance from the state but will encourage no-contact dancing with a more fast-paced fun playlist to go with that style.
Students will also receive swag bags from York-based Renaissance Prom and local florals from Foster’s Flower Shop, props from Party Belles and photography from Alan Pototsky with a link for purchase.
They can also purchase wristlets and boutonnieres in red, white, pink and blue from Foster's through July 27 and pick them up at prom.
The red carpet arrival will be at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m., and the event wrapping up at 10 p.m.