United Prom

This map shows the layout for the United Prom event to take place Saturday at the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Having a drive-in high school prom during a pandemic comes with many questions, and organizers have some answers for the United Prom 2020 set for Saturday at the Greene County Fairgrounds.

One question that organizers have received is if high school juniors attend, according to a release from the event organizers. United Prom 2020 is for seniors and their dates, meaning anyone is welcome to drive-in with a senior who attends, the release stated.

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., is focusing on seniors because their final chance at prom was canceled, but their dates also are welcome, according to organizers. It’s up to the seniors to decide who they want to bring as their dates. Up to four students are allowed in each car.

Can homeschool seniors attend? United Prom 2020 is open to all five local high schools, along with homeschool and private school seniors. “As our theme song says, we can ‘Build This Dream Together,’” organizers say.

Organizers have also received an inquiry about what attire is expected. There is no dress code, they say. Those who had formal prom attire ready to wear when proms were canceled can get dressed up for United Prom 2020. Sunday best and even casual attire also are welcome.

A photo studio will offer free prom photos, which may affect some decisions related to attire, but all styles are welcome. Free formal dresses and shoes are available in United Prom Closet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Friday at the Roby Fitzgerald Adult Center, 203 N. College St.

The free photos will be made in a drive-up photo studio on the Fairgrounds Main Stage. Two background options will be available. The professional photos will be posted in the Facebook event “United Prom 2020,” free for download. A selfie booth will also print keepsakes on site.

Seniors have also asked about how much money they should bring. United Prom 2020 is totally free, thanks to sponsors, according to the release. Free keepsake T-shirts will be provided with “swag bags” full of other freebies.

No food will be served due to concerns related to COVID-19. However, students are welcome to bring their own food and drink to eat in their cars.

Parents have also asked about the safety of the event, according to organizers. Adult volunteer chaperones will be on site to watch for everyone’s safety, the release stated.

Among those adults are school resource officers from local high schools.

Volunteers have been careful to follow state guidelines for COVID-19. A traffic crew will help with directions, and driving paths will be clearly marked with decorative lights, signs and balloon arches in school colors.

Organizers have also been asked how a drive-in prom can be fun. While United Prom 2020 is different, they say, special modifications have been made to ensure that students will have fun memories to last a lifetime.

Hits from the 1980s and greetings from the community are part of special programming from The Jewel 95.5 FM WSMG, and DJ Robbie Britton will lead interactive online games using cell phones. Students can choose to listen to their car radios or play on their cell phones, or a little of both.

Restroom facilities will be open during the event. Participants are asked to flash their headlights, and a chaperone will escort them to the restroom while social distancing.

Entrance to United Prom 2020 will be at the northeastern gate of the fair on Jeff Woods Memorial Drive, the closest entrance to Rufe Taylor Road. Students will park in the large lot before and after they visit the photo studio.

For more information about the event, search for the “United Prom 2020” event on www.facebook.com or call volunteers Amy Rose at 423-525-7199 or Chan Humbert at 423-329-7400.

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