Danette Crofts, left, and Dani Kawcak work on the set Tuesday in preparation for the Moffat County High School prom Saturday night. The theme this year is "Once Upon A Dream."

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Danette Crofts, left, and Dani Kawcak work on the set Tuesday in preparation for the Moffat County High School prom Saturday night. The theme this year is "Once Upon A Dream."

Call to tradition

High school juniors make final preparations for junior/senior prom

If you go

Grand March

• What: Moffat County High School Junior/Senior prom Grand March

• When: 8:50 p.m. Saturday, doors open at 8:30 p.m.

• Where: Moffat County High School auditorium

• Cost: Free

Prom

• When: 9 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday

• Where: Moffat County High School gym

• Cost: $20. Tickets are available at the high school office and admittance is limited to MCHS juniors, seniors and guests.

• All students must present student identification cards at the dance and guests must have photo identification.

• For more information, call 824-7036.

After Prom

• When: Midnight to 3 a.m.

• Where: Thunder Rolls Bowling Center

— David Grabowski, Moffat County High School junior class adviser, was a man on the move Wednesday afternoon.

He circled around the high school gym, answering students' questions and calls for help.

These questions weren't the academic sort. Rather, they regarded malfunctioning staplers and cardboard cutout trees.

Grabowski said he was solely a support for the handful of juniors who were decorating the gym for the junior/senior prom.

"The kids do all the work," he said.

The prom is from 9 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday at the Moffat County High School gym, 900 Finley Lane. The Grand March begins at 8:50 p.m. Saturday, immediately followed by the Prom Court crowning. Parents and community members may attend.

An After Prom party takes place after the dance, from midnight to 3 a.m. at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center, 990 Industrial Ave.

As in past years, the junior class is responsible for organizing and setting up the dance, which is reserved for juniors, seniors and their guests, Grabowski said.

The reason behind these arrangements can be explained in one word: Tradition.

"It's always been that way," he said.

The tradition often calls for rituals and trappings uncommon to daily school life: Formal dresses for women, tuxedos for men and the crowning of a king and queen before the dance begins.

Junior Lisa Ellgen doesn't mind the formality.

"Besides homecoming, it's the only formal event we have," Ellgen said.

As she spoke, she cut long strips off a roll of white, gauzy material - one of the 100-foot-long units students will use in decorating the gym and high school commons area for Saturday night.

Grabowski estimated about 500 metallic blue balloons sat in a box nearby, waiting to be filled.

Other materials go into setting up prom, he said, from invitations and souvenir picture frames down to the staples holding the decorations together.

Ellgen wasn't concerned about completing the decorations on time.

"We've had a lot of people show up" to help, she said.

Junior Ethan Robinson was one student who turned out Wednesday night to lend a hand. He attended prom last year, he said, and his perceptions of prom have changed since then.

"I see now that it takes a lot more work than what it looks like," he said.

On Saturday, he plans to come to the formal dance he helped make possible.

Next spring, though, will be different story.

"I'm going to go camping next year," he said.

Custom requires a high school student to attend prom no more than twice, he said.

And that's one tradition he doesn't plan on breaking.

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