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High schools go private to resume proms

Thanks to the efforts of dedicated parents, Henderson County’s high school students will have the chance to dance at junior-senior proms this year.

Parents and school supporters are sponsoring proms at various venues in the coming days despite the fact that statewide Covid-19 restrictions bar the high schools themselves from participating in the traditional spring dance that students missed last year.
“The students have made many sacrifices during this pandemic and we felt like the students were most deserving of a special night,” said Alison Gosnell, one of the parent organizers of the prom at Hendersonville High School. “The best reactions I have gotten are really from the students. They have been telling me ‘thank you’ and telling me about their dresses and tuxedo selections.”
Gosnell said she expects an “amazing fashion show” when students arrive for the prom.
Hendersonville’s Under the Stars junior/senior prom at Skybrook Farms in Etowah will be held Saturday night and include dancing, food and a fireworks show after dark. It is being hosted by parents, alumni and community members.
Similar proms are planned for East Henderson, West Henderson and North Henderson high schools.

“Anything that is positive for our students, I’m happy for the students,” East High Principal Brandon Scott said.
Parents of East High’s junior class are sponsoring the prom, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for juniors and seniors next Saturday at Green Mountain Farm in Hendersonville. The prom includes music and dancing featuring a disc jockey, cornhole, horse shoes, desserts, a fire pit and a s’mores bar. Masks are required for the prom and space is limited due to Covid restrictions, according to information on an online invitation to the prom. East parents also say a second prom is planned for students at a local dance studio on May 15. Attempts to reach the studio’s owner to confirm the event on Friday were unsuccessful.
At West High, parents organized a prom for seniors. Any remaining space after the seniors signed up was offered to juniors. The prom will be held next Saturday at Jeter Mountain Farm. It will include snacks and music for dancing with a disc jockey.
Parents created a Gofundme page to fund the dance.
“After the craziness of the last year and a canceled prom last year, the class of 2021 deserves to celebrate and have a senior prom,” according to the Gofundme page. “Since they aren’t able to have a school sponsored one, parents are trying to create a wonderful night for these seniors.”
North Henderson Principal John Shepard confirmed that parents and community members are sponsoring a prom for seniors. He said he had no other information about the event. Attempts to reach organizers were unsuccessful on Friday.
HHS's prom in an old barn at Skybrook Farms and will revolve around a theme based on the 1980s movie "Footloose," Gosnell said. The movie tells the story of teenagers trying to organize a prom in a town that banned dancing. Masks will be required during the prom.
Gosnell’s husband, Dustin, will put on the fireworks show through Gosnell Pyrotechnics. The fireworks will be choreographed to song selections from students and the movie, she said.
Gosnell also praised the donations from local business leaders including An English Flower Cottage for the “shabby-chic” décor, Hannah Flanagan’s Irish Pub for food, Chef Maddie for desserts and Hendersonville Tents for tables and table cloths.
“We have gotten several donations and my committee has worked very hard to put on a first-class prom on a low budget,” she said. “We have been so fortunate to do this event because parents have been so happy to donate items we needed and give money towards the event.”