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Otsego High School holds prom at Warner Vineyards

A group of friends enjoy the Otsego prom at Warner Vineyards. (Photo by Tina Maxwell)
The Otsego prom took place outside at the Warner Vineyards in Paw Paw. (Photo by Tina Maxwell)
Students dance and mingle at the Otsego prom. (Photo by Tina Maxwell)

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor

May 4 has come to be known as Star Wars Day.
You know, “May the Fourth be with you.”
It seemed only fitting, then, that the students who organized this year’s Otsego High School prom decided to go with a Star Wars theme since the prom took place on Saturday, May 4.
“It was a different kind of theme for a prom, but it was a lot of fun,” said OHS math teacher Bri Demarest, who serves as the junior class advisor and helped organize the prom. “Everyone really seemed to enjoy it by embracing their inner nerd by having light saber battles.”
To be clear, the light sabers in question were inflatable, so there was little chance of anyone getting a hand cut off like Luke Skywalker did at the end of “The Empire Strikes Back.”
The prom was held at the Warner Vineyards in Paw Paw and took place largely outside, with activities including cornhole and making s’mores at a fire pit. There was also a photo booth to help capture the evening in images.
“The location was chosen by the current senior class at the end of last school year,” Demarest said. “I am new to the junior advisor position, so the coordinator of last year’s prom (Erin Horton) wanted to make sure the location was already picked going into this school year.
“The group of students that picked the location really liked the indoor/outdoor component of the venue.”
Demarest admitted to having some concerns about holding the prom outside. And there was the possibility of rain in the forecast for the night of the prom.
“I was very nervous about it since we live in Michigan and weather can really differ from year to year, especially at the beginning of May,” Demarest said. “So, we prepared for the worst but hoped for the best. And Mother Nature really listened as it started down pouring five minutes after the dance finished.”
Feedback from the more than 300 students who attended the prom was overwhelmingly positive, according to Demarest.
“I think it went extremely well,” she said. “Many students said it was the best prom they had been to, and they all seemed to really enjoy it.
“We have a great group of juniors and seniors, so we weren’t worried about discipline issues. They all seemed to like that it was outside versus inside since the weather was perfect.”
Dancing was, unsurprisingly, one of the favorite activities for the evening. Gage Pompileo, a 2022 OHS graduate, served as the DJ.
Rudolph, an emotional-support dog who is well-known among OHS students, also made an appearance, complete with a doggie tuxedo.
“The students really seemed to like Rudolph being there all dressed up,” Demarest said.

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