Prom decorations have new twist this year

Decorations for what may be one of the biggest nights of the year for a high school student are being switched up this year.

Wapakoneta High School teacher and junior class adviser Aaron Stiger said as a way to cut costs this year he hand-crafted the decorations instead of purchasing them from a prom company.

“We were paying thousands of dollars for cardboard, so Mr. (Principal Scott) Minnig and I looked at it and asked ‘how can we save money and be something we can use year after year,’” Stiger said.

So this year, Stiger has come up with an idea of creating six different Parisian shops, to go along with the theme “A Night in Paris” and he has been spending time painting and putting together the set, along with the help of students in the Ag class who have been cutting wood and helping attach the awnings of the shops.

The shops will include a bakery, cafe, library, movie theater, newsstand and a florist and will also include an Eiffel Tower.

“We will have a florist on hand to pass out flowers, and a baker to pass out donuts to the students,” Stiger said of the interactive set.

 “Nina Laney from the Wapakoneta Daily News is creating a scene around the news stand set that will be very well put-together,” Stiger said. “Village Green is providing flowers to hand out to the kids at the florist and topiaries for Promenade.”

In addition, Marsha Lotridge gathered workers for the other shops.

“Miller’s Textile has come through with table cloths and mats for promenade,” Stiger said. “Moon Florist donates their pillars and the Promenade Arch this year.”

Also, Wapakoneta High School sophomores are volunteering their time to greet those at Promenade and are helping to tear prom down.    

“Prom this year has been a true community effort,” Stiger said.

Stiger said the set will be less expensive than in past years, while the quality will be higher, as they can re-use parts of this set for upcoming years.

“I hope these decorations will make it more of an interactive evening for students,” Stiger said. “Most of the time it is a back drop. However, with props and people who I talk with, it will hopefully make a more memorable evening for the kids.”    

The prom was moved to the Grand Plaza from the high school cafeteria because Stiger said the school wanted to make the event more formal and special for our juniors and seniors. 

“Even if nothing was done to the facility, it would be a high-class event,” Stiger said. “However, with some extra set-up, it will turn the evening into a themed evening of entertainment and memories for the Wapakoneta High School students.”

Juniors have been helpful as they have an array of duties, including selling tickets at lunch, along with hunting down extension cords and spot lights for illumination of the props, and they will be helping Stiger set up tables and the created decorations today at The Grand Plaza.

The prom will be held from 8:30-11:30 p.m. at The Grand Plaza in Wapakoneta. Promenade is at 8 p.m. in the Wapakoneta High School gym and post-prom will be held from 11:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Astro Lanes.

“It’s coming together,” Stiger said. “It’s cool how people in the community give a bit for prom.”    

Stiger said the post-prom Set-up Committee is doing a great job, and this group is led by Jackie Martell. The group has more than $5,000 in prizes to give out along with widespread donations throughout the community.

“I am very grateful for the community support we have received, Stiger said. “To me, this is the true story of Prom year in and year out. It is great to see all of our Wapakoneta community members all chipping in with their time, talents, and funds to make prom and post prom a memorable evening for the kids.”