Nothing to do on Friday night? How about heading out to the local high school to watch the students arrive at prom. To some it may sound strange, but to the Cochran community it’s a matter of “Royal” pride.
This year Bleckley County High School held its 2017 prom on Friday March, 31, a departure from the Saturday night tradition of recent years. Yet scores of local residents still made their way across the lawn to the rear of the school where at 7:15 pm the “walk-through” began.
However, while the main event may have begun at 7:15, any guests who wanted to get a closer view of the arriving couples had to be in place at least an hour early. Mrs. Carla Bowen, who I found seated in her canvas chair at the front of the crowd, stated that she had arrived around 6:15 in order to procure her favorite front row seat. When asked why she thought prom walk through was such a popular event in Cochran, she had a one word answer – “community.”
The crowd of family and friends that gathered to celebrate with students on Friday evening did indeed swell with community pride as Mrs. Bowen said. While the evening shadows lengthened, approximately 200 people gathered to view the pageantry of this year’s spring rite of passage. Teenagers more commonly robed in torn jeans and t-shirts paraded down the red carpet in tuxedos and evening gowns. With wide grins and youthful exuberance, they preened and posed for their camera wielding fans. (For photos of walk-through click here to go to The Bleckley Progress website)
The Prom’s theme, Enchanted Garden, suited the cool spring evening. Hadden Powell, a junior at BCHS and award winning floral designer, masterminded the decorations that included a hanging topiary and a weathered iron gate. Julie Hutto, the prom coordinator, worked tirelessly to ensure the junior-senior dance was a success. Mrs. Hutto said that she and her team worked late into the evening on Thursday to transform the counselor’s hall, commons area, and cafeteria into an enchanted garden.
The dance began in earnest around 8:45. While not dancing, students were able to take pictures at an automated photo booth, quench their thirst, or enjoy a sweet treat from the dessert table. The dancing paused around 9:45 for the senior slide show and the crowning of the prom king and queen. This year the royal crowns were awarded to Blake Bohannon and Hannah Dykes.
The evening was a great success. The last of the dancers departed around 10:30 and a good deal of the clean up was completed within an hour. Bleckley High School principals were proud of the students’ behavior at the event and had nothing but the highest of praise for Mrs. Hutto and her team whose enchanted garden provided an enchanting evening for all who attended.