Some traditions never change. For the Racine Founders Rotary Club, which has hosted Rotary Post Prom for Racine area high schools since 1953, traditions just adapt.
Post Prom 2021, with the theme “An Enchanted Evening,” is planned as a safe, outdoor event from 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, May 15, at the Racine County Fairgrounds in Yorkville, not its usual Festival Hall location in Downtown Racine.
“There’s a couple reasons we picked fairground: 1. We were looking for an outdoor venue so the kids could space out as much as possible,” Event Co-Chair Sara Luther said, adding that the location needed to have ample parking and for fencing to be able to be erected surrounding the outdoor party; in the past, more than 1,300 people have participated in a single Post Prom. Festival Hall also isn’t taking reservations for events currently.
Racine Founders, in a press release, said that it is stepping in to “fill the gap and provide the full prom experience for the students” whose schools are not having their own proms this year.
Attractions at the 2021 Post Prom event will include:
Live red carpet TV coverage by WVTV-DT2, channel 24
- Motorcades from schools to the fairgrounds, escorted by local law enforcement
- Bleacher ticket sales for spectators
- Activities, walkthrough experiences, photographers and decorations
- Food and beverages
Safety measures include:
- Staggered arrival and activity times
- Mask and temperature-taking requirements
- No buffet or large dance floor
- 100% outside or open-air garage style buildings
- Grounds-wide seating for maximum separation while eating, resting
- Multiple buildings and outdoor space for maximum distancing
- Socially-distant bleacher seating
All the traditional schools will be invited — Horlick, Case, Park, Walden, REAL School, The Prairie School, Racine Lutheran, Union Grove — as well as Waterford High School, which has been invited in the past but never attended. Luther said that, depending on expected attendance, some other schools in western Racine County may also be invited.
“This is the second year the club will present Post Prom during the pandemic and once again we’ve met the challenge,” Mark Patzke, president of the Rotary Club, said in a statement.
The 2020 Post Prom took place in August, months after the school year ended, and provided both drive-thru and in-person experiences at Pershing Park Drive, in front of Festival Hall, Racine Zoo and Monument Square.
Members of the Racine Founders Rotary Club are working with a student committee of representatives from each of the schools.
“The students are very grateful and working hard to end their high school career with something resembling a normal prom during a very not-normal year,” the news release said.