Wake County high school students embrace alternative proms this year

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) -- With Wake County high schools not having traditional proms because of fears caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, some parents and community members are organizing alternative proms for students.

MaryAnne McAdams and other parents raised more than $6,500 online so Holly Springs High seniors can have an "alternative prom" at the Pavilion at Carriage Farm in Raleigh.

"It made me really sad to think that my daughter, along with her peers, were not going to be able to have that type of traditional milestone celebration," McAdams said.

The Wake County Public School System said high schools can't have traditional proms during the COVID-19 pandemic but can have an event to safely celebrate seniors.

A spokesperson for the district said most schools have already had their senior events.

"It's not a traditional prom and that is what we hope to be able to provide for students," McAdams said. "It's just the opportunity to come to and attend a senior prom so they have that memory."

In Apex, high school students will be able to go downtown for an event.

Friday evening, it'll be Apex High's turn and Saturday evening, it will be Apex Friendship High's. The schools are partnering with the Town of Apex and Apex Chamber of Commerce for a COVID-safe event. Students can buy tickets and wear their prom attire.

"We want this to be something that even though it's different, this will be something that kids will always remember, as a really special and unique night," said Apex Friendship High School Principal Matt Wight.

McAdam's daughter, Madelyn, and Holly Springs High School student body Vice President Jordan Ellerson can't wait for their prom.

"Last year when we were juniors, it got canceled due to COVID and now that we actually have this opportunity when I found out, I was like this is perfect," Ellerson said.

"I'm really excited to be just in a dress and heels and take photos with all my friends," Madelyn McAdams said.

The prom for Holly Springs High students is June 4.
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