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Old 05-20-2009, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
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I have become aware that my small community has a prom that is, by most standards, odd and severely old-fashioned.

1. We have a Junior Prom (for those in grade 11). Not sure how or why it's not a Senior Prom, but it's not.

2. The public is welcome. Tickets are sold and (hopefully) the class will recoup the amount they spent on decorations and music.

3. Parents are not only welcome, but expected to be there for the Grand March (see below). Typically, our proms are held from 8-11, and the parents/grandparents come at 8 and leave soon after the Grand March (around 9 or 9:30), giving the kids the last hour or so to themselves and the faster, harder music and dancing.

4. We have a Grand March. After the King and Queen are crowned, each junior goes and gets their opposite-sex parent, or other adult person, and they, with the new royals in lead, do this elaborate march around the auditorium (okay, it's the gym, but it looks pretty!), combining in sets of 2, then sets of 4, and switching and well... it's complicated to explain. After that, the kids dance with their marching partner/parent.



So... just wondering if A) Anyone else had ever heard of a Grand March, and B) what *you're* rural kids do for prom? Any odd locations (barns? VFW? etc) or special traditions associated with prom in your rural area?
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
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In small schools in South Dakota, the Grand March is very popular. After the grand march, generally the parents/grandparents are expected to leave so the kids can have fun without the possibility of parental "embarressment"

After the dance, many communities have "after prom" festivities where the kids with their dates can play carnival type games and even play poker games for prizes (not money). These after proms can go nearly all night long and is usually hosted by the parents. The main reason for after proms is to try to take away any possible inclination these kids may have to drink and drive. In general, it works pretty well.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:16 PM
 
Location: South Coast of Nebraska
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Retired from teaching and one of the things I miss most was my job as Prom sponsor--i.e. Jr. Class!

I loved the smell of lilac bushes and apple blossoms that are around our small town at that time of year. Then, the kids showed up for the dinner and dance with glorious corsages-------and the thought of Prom takes me back to the fragrance.

Every kid just looked beautiful on Prom night. I did everything I could to impede and prevent any sad feelings that might come up because I just felt it was so important that everyone have one special night, in high school, with their childhood friends, at our Shangri La---or whatever imaginary place we built at the city auditorium.

It is our Promenade that you referred to as as the Grand March. In my mind, it was magic: We usually built a tunnel covered with balloons or something thematic, like tissue flowers--or, one year, we created a dragon's mouth. Parents with cameras were stationed and the DJ announced the names as the Prom-ees paraded out of the tunnel and onto the dance floor. Oh my--how beautiful those dresses are!!

Punt the sarcasm about 'dressing up,' and see it as a great equalizer. Because, we're small, here, and we see to it that everyone comes up with nice clothes. (I had my ways of finding out if someone couldn't afford it and I had my ways of getting them some gladrags. :-) Kids need to know how to "carry" themselves and Prom helps them learn.

It was my feeling that the planning and execution of Prom was a business experience and as much a learning tool as anything else. They had to imagineer and then budget and then, get along well enough to get something done.

My number one rule was, "You criticize, then you be ready to do the work." That really cut back on the griping and fighting. Much is learned from that axiom.

Prom was my forte. I could go on and on.........

Last edited by roots'nbulbs; 05-20-2009 at 11:25 PM..
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:20 AM
 
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central Minnesota it is a junior/senior prom meaning those are the only ones involved and no one else is part of the grand march unless they were invited as a date of a junior /senior

In our small town, the couples head out to eat at various out of town places, then gather for the grand march at the school ( open to the public)

Following that is the dance in the school gym with either a band ot DJ.

Most schools have an all night program / "carnival atmosphere" after the dance.

Students sign up and once they sign, they can't leave til morning.
Yes, as other posters stated, it takes many volunteers to make the post prom party a success.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:49 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
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As jmgg noted above, the Grand March is a big deal. The Corn Palace is chock full of parents while the kids are introduced, pictures snapped, etc. The thing even gets run a few times on the local cable channel!
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Middle America
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Very traditional, small town prom, here, in some ways...less traditional in others.

The traditional:

-Juniors and seniors only. If you're a junior or senior and have a significant other who is a sophomore or freshman, you're outta luck, and go stag or with a friend if you're gonna go at all.
-It has the Grand March and coronation, open to the community.
-The prom royalty gets a front page pic in the community weekly paper.
-The only formal date night most kids at that age see, complete with traveling out of town to upscale restaurants (our town of 7,000 had nothing even sort of upscale).
-Kids start stressing about nailing down a prom date, dress, etc. in about January, even though the Prom isn't until late April.
-Local civic org. hosts a post-prom party at their facility, where promgoers surrender their keys for the night, to cut down on the rampant prom night drunk driving fatalities that plagued our town, like many other small towns. You get there after the dance, and you're locked in until 6 a.m., unless a parent comes and gets you.

Not so traditional:

-Stopped being held in the high school gym about 18 years ago, when community civic center with small ballroom was built.
-Not such a huge deal to go with a date. Groups were becoming more and more commonplace even 15 years ago. I went with a large group of guys and girls both years.
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
1,895 posts, read 5,313,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roots'nbulbs View Post

Punt the sarcasm about 'dressing up,' and see it as a great equalizer. Because, we're small, here, and we see to it that everyone comes up with nice clothes. (I had my ways of finding out if someone couldn't afford it and I had my ways of getting them some gladrags. :-) Kids need to know how to "carry" themselves and Prom helps them learn.
Just a few years ago, 2 of our recent graduates, both with developmental disabilities, decide that everyone should be able to look nice for prom (being rural, as I'm sure many of you are, some can't even get to the fancy dress stores 2 hours away, much less afford the clothing!), and so they opened The Queen's Closet- a resale shop for formalwear, much of it simply donated after prom season, and though they do sell the stuff, they will basically give away formalwear if a students needs it. They now have quite a collection of dresses, tuxes and all of the finery.

I'm glad to hear the Grand March is alive and well in other areas!
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:54 AM
 
Location: South Coast of Nebraska
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deerislesmile: Love hearing that. A couple businesses, like your Queen's Closet, have popped up around here, as well--one in Smith Center, Kansas.

It's a great outlet for the beautiful creations on a hanger. At first, we laughed about the young girls who wouldn't consider it.
And now, I hear of some very middle class and 'upper' Moms who have taken a car full to shop. We'll see where this goes. Amusing as well as a new direction for our slowing economy...hm-m-m....I still wonder if it won't spawn a lot more creativity than we've seen in the past decade.

And, I just feel so good about kids having one magical night that is so special that they have to "dress up," and behave like they know something. LOL
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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Prom is one of the most anticipated events in our city. We have several high schools here and they all have a prom and each prom has a grand march. This is a time for young people to shine, to show the world how good they look. As far as location most are either held in the school gym or at a hotel ballroom depending on the money resources. One of the most unusual locations was in an adjacent smaller town, the seniors got permission to have their prom at the local court house on the lawn. The inside parking was corded off, the band was positioned on the band stand, and the grand march began inside the courthouse and moved out down the steps. It was really beautiful. People from all over the community came out with their lawn chairs to watch even if they didn't have a child involved. It was truely a community event.
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