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Proms remain strong tradition in Edmond, planners say

Organizers at Edmond high schools are expecting hundreds of their students to show up for proms Saturday.
BY STEVE GUST Published: April 26, 2012

— Saturday, hundreds of Edmond teens will again remind the world that for many young people, proms are worth the effort and expense.

Students from Memorial, North and Santa Fe high schools will dress up, dine out and dance the night away. They'll be carrying on a formal tradition that's been around for generations.

An estimated 1,500 to 1,700 students and guests will grace the three metro venues hosting this year's proms. Those figures are great news for restaurants, limousine fleets, florists, salons, dress shops and tuxedo rental businesses.

“Prom is still just as meaningful to our students today as it was 30 years ago,” said Jason Brown, executive director of secondary education for Edmond Public Schools. “Along with homecoming festivities and the graduation ceremony, attending a prom is an event that leaves an indelible mark on your high school experience.”

Getting a date to the big event can be interesting.

Debbie Bendick, principal at Memorial High School, said she is impressed with the unusual ways students ask for prom dates. This year at the Swine Week Assembly — the culmination of the school's community service benefit project — members of the drum line stopped in mid-cadence and held up a string of signs that spelled out “Prom, Katie?”

Another prom truth as constant as the boutonniere is the amount of planning and work involved.

“The students of the prom committee and the prom sponsors put in hours of work to provide a special night for the juniors and seniors of their high school,” Brown said.

One prom tradition does seem to be dying out: the after-prom party.

“We don't have after-prom any more,” Bendick said. “After a few years of very poor attendance, it was discontinued.”

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