Prom 2020 will be located on a boat

Sydney Bommersbach, Assistant Online Editor in Chief

Planning for the Prom of 2020 began immediately after the successful ‘Night in Paris’ on May 23, 2019. While the venue switched multiple times from Genesys to I-59 West, it has finally been settled that this year’s Prom will be held on the Detroit Princess Riverboat on May 2, 2020. 

“The idea of having Prom on a boat is not new to Fenton High,” class sponsor administrator Micheal Bakker said. “The last time it was held on a boat was in 2004, and there were also times prior to that.” 

Even though the idea of having Prom on a boat is not new, what will change for students is the requirement to ride a charter bus down to Detroit and back to Fenton. 

“A lot of factors play into charter buses being used,” Bakker said. “The distance away and being unfamiliar with the area can make it difficult to get down there. Parking would be a huge problem for us because the Detroit River Princess does not have a designated parking lot. There would be people walking from wherever they can find a spot to the boat, and then back again afterward. It just makes much more sense from a safety perspective.” 

Now students will not be able to take their own buses or limousines to Prom and won’t be able to leave early. However with the theme of the ‘Great Gatsby Gala’ and all the Detroit Princess Riverboat has to offer, the extra traveling distance is justified. 

“We reserved the entire boat,” junior class sponsor Breanna Laskowski said. “Deck one will hold dinner, deck two is the dance floor, deck three is the casino and decks four and five are outside so that people will get to see everything and can go outside to get fresh air. We will leave the dock, cruise down, go around Belle Isle, come back, go under the Ambassador Bridge at night with all the lights on and then head back to the dock.” 

From a cost perspective, the goal is to keep the price of one ticket under $85. With the price of last year’s tickets being $65, this will be an increase. 

“Nothing against past venues,” Bakker said, “such as I-59 West or Howell, but they can’t hold a candle to this venue. Even though the ticket price is going to be more, you will be doing more. It’s a pretty awesome opportunity and it’s a box that students can check off; even some adults don’t have that opportunity to do what we are doing.” 

According to Laskowski, who calculated all the pricing for each venue option, the Detroit Princess Riverboat is the exact same price as everything at I-59 West.

“The only reason for the price increase is due to inflation and the addition of charter buses,” Laskowski said. “I want to say it was $1.85 more per person to do the riverboat as opposed to having it at I-59 West.”

Depending on the feedback received after May 2, Bakker and the administration are considering making this an annual Prom experience.  

“I don’t think as administrators we would be willing to try this if we didn’t think this would be a successful endeavor,” Bakker said. “If this is well-liked, I could see this being an every year Prom for us down at the Detroit River Princess Riverboat. Davidson High School does it every other year. It’s a cool opportunity and I think we’re in a spot just close enough, not too far away, to do this on a regular basis.”

Administration and Laskowski are working together to create a ‘frequently asked questions’ list to address other questions and concerns about this set of Prom plans. This list hoping to be released as soon as possible after the return to school from winter break. Check back here in January for the said list and more information.