Moffat County High School prom dresses up traditions |

Moffat County High School prom dresses up traditions

Formal event features new location, theme

Moffat County High School juniors Calden Scranton, left, and Tiawna Smercina receive their royal materials as king and queen of the MCHS prom Saturday night. The two were selected as royalty for dedicating the most time to decorating. The optional theme for the event was Classy Masquerade, with many students donning masks along with their formalwear. This year's prom was held at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion rather than at MCHS.
Andy Bockelman

— By her count, Moffat County High School junior Tiawna Smercina put in at least 13 hours of work last week helping decorate for her school’s annual formal event, which helped secure her the top honor of the night. But winning a tiara and sash wasn’t why she wanted to volunteer.

“I wanted to make this prom the one that people would want to have every year,” she said as the evening of fun began. “I want to see everybody smile, have a good time and enjoy every single second of it.”

MCHS’s prom, held Saturday night, was a change in tradition in many ways this year, primarily because of the location. Faculty adviser Jessica Knez, who organized the event alongside Deb Markham, said students showed a great deal of interest in changing things up by moving the gala somewhere besides the school, to the facilities at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion.

“It’s been a little hectic and there have been some challenges that have presented themselves, but it’s been interesting and it’s been fun,” she said.

The theme of Classy Masquerade allowed for students to add some extra flair to their formalwear if they were so inclined, with many of them donning elaborate masks to complement their tuxedos and gowns.

The Grand March started things off, as students posed onstage for photos taken by their families, whether as couples or larger groups of friends. Juniors Felicia Vasquez and Erin Daugherty were the first to cross the stage.

“It was kind of awkward,” Vasquez laughed. “We were just so excited about dancing. I’m glad all my friends came out. It’s junior prom, how can you not be excited?”

The coronation followed, with Smercina and Calden Scranton named prom queen and king as the girl and boy of the junior class who put the most time into decorating the venue with the gossamer streamers and balloons overhead, the layout of refreshments and heaping amounts of glitter everywhere.

“It’s definitely an honor,” Scranton said while wearing his crown. “When you start out, you just have an idea of how everything’s going to look in the very end, but as you start putting everything together, it really makes you excited when it’s all done.”

Will the pavilion be a regular location for MCHS dances henceforth? Knez said the feedback will determine that.

“I’m curious to see what the community perception is and how the kids and parents thought everything went,” she said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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