Perry’s prom returns Saturday with outdoor grand march at Wiese Park

Allison Ullmann
Perry Chief

Editor's Note: The venue for the grand march has recently changed to Wiese Park.

Perry High School’s annual prom will return Saturday after a one-year hiatus. 

"I’m just excited for some normality and being able to be with all of our friends in one place," said junior Macy Killmer.

Junior class parents and students helped organize this year’s grand march, dance and after-prom as part of the prom committee. Alterations have been made to all three events because of COVID-19.

Holly Killmer, one of the prom committee members, said they talked with the high school principal and nurse and looked at what other area schools were doing in order to decide what this year’s event would look like.

Although everyone would have liked to have a normal prom, she said the committee’s main goal was to keep everyone safe while taking COVID-19 safety precautions.

The grand march will start at 6 p.m. Saturday at Wiese Park. Family and friends are welcome to attend and should park in the elementary school parking lot. Bleachers will be provided, but lawn chairs are recommended.

In case of weather, the grand march will be moved inside to the high school gym. 

Grand march is typically held in the Perry Performing Arts Center. Holly Killmer said if the event was held inside, they would need to limit the number of guests.

“If we have it outside, we can allow people from the community as well as families to see the grand march,” she said.

Fellow committee member Tina Lutterman said having the grand march outdoors will allow more people to take photos while staying socially distanced. 

“We encourage them to sit with their own families and if you’re close and sitting by somebody else, to keep your mask on. But this way we can open it up so that more people will be able to enjoy seeing the kids having the fun,” Lutterman said.

Prom will then move to the Lake Robbins Ballroom in Woodward where the dance will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight. Instead of a meal, various snacks will be served. Masks will be required during the dance and after-prom events.

After-prom will also be held at Lake Robbins from 12:30 to around 2 a.m. The event will feature a hypnotist, popcorn and coffee bar. Prizes will then be drawn to finish up the evening. 

Holly Killmer and Lutterman were happy to see the return of prom last year’s event was canceled because of COVID-19.

“Our junior students were coming home saying they didn’t think there was going to be a prom at all, because they weren’t fundraising,” Killmer said.

One of the larger fundraisers for the junior class is running the concession stand for softball and baseball the summer before their prom. While softball and baseball seasons were held last summer, the concession stand wasn’t open.

Once the prom committee was given the go-ahead to start fundraising for this year’s event, they needed to come up with different ways to raise the funds.

One of the junior parents saw an idea where another group held an online auction on Facebook. The Perry prom committee held an online auction earlier this spring which Holly Killmer said went really well.

The junior class also sponsored a daddy-daughter dance, car wash, T-shirt sales and more to help raise funds for this year’s prom. A small fee is typically charged before attendees come into the grand march. This year, donations will be accepted instead to help off-set the cost of prom.

Junior Ashley Perez said the daddy-daughter dance went really well and it helped bring in more funds than they expected. Macy Killmer and fellow junior Kimberly Castillo added that they enjoyed helping with the car wash.

Members of the prom committee are now looking forward to seeing the event return on Saturday.

“I just appreciate the opportunity to have it for the kids,” Lutterman said. 

"For me, it’s mostly hanging out with the seniors for the last time. I really got close to some of the seniors and it’s going to be a good time," Castillo said.