Moffat County prom out of this world

Moffat County 2023 prom royalty from left, Cort Murphy, Stephanie Eqsquivel, Brook Wheeler, and Hudson Jones.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

A night among the stars made for a thrilling evening for the students of Moffat County High School.

Saturday night was Moffat County’s annual spring formal event, as the Bulldogs donned their fanciest duds and hit the dance floor. Following the Grand March in the school auditorium which allowed the students to pose for photos, they were bused north on Colorado Highway 13 to the Day Off Ranch.

The rural venue was a first for the school, offering an airy building with plenty of space. Faculty organizers Sharon Skwarek and Shelby Massey had started planning things out nearly a year ago.

“We came out here for a Chamber mixer and we thought it would be the perfect place for prom and made it happen,” Massey said.

In recent years, prom has been hosted at the MCHS gym, Quality Inn and the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion, the latter of which was the still the site of the after-prom party.

“It was time for something different,” Massey said. “The owners were very gracious and here to help us. It all came out great and what we thought it would be. That’s how you know you’ve had a successful prom is when they’re all out there dancing.”

Befitting the theme of “Into the Galaxy,” stars were hanging from the ceiling, along the walls and more, to make up décor that was literally stellar.

Quincy Lowe was part of the junior class planning committee, who were advised by Skwarek to keep it simple.

“She told us that less is more, and I think it came out really pretty,” she said. “A lot of what we used was stuff from the Prom Closet, so we went with a lot of black and gold stuff.”

Midway through the evening was the coronation of prom royalty. Junior attendants were Brook Wheeler and Hudson Jones, while the titles of king and queen went to seniors Cort Murphy and Stephanie Esquivel, respectively.

Esquivel was taken aback, but pleasantly so, as she was called to the front of the crowd for her sash and tiara.

“I was surprised, but my friends told me they all voted for me. I’m so thankful for them,” she said.

Though it was quite a bit of effort to get ready, Lowe said the results spoke for themselves.

“We got a lot done, and I’m really happy with how it turned out,” she said. “It’s exactly what I imagined it would be.”

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