By Maddy Vitale
Elegant, classy, stylish, traditional, formal and edgy looks put together by none other than students for the 2018 Ocean City High School Prom, rivaled movie-star fashions when more than 600 juniors and seniors sashayed down the red carpet inside the historic Flanders Hotel Saturday night.
The rains that poured down and brought the introductions indoors, didn’t dampen the mood, as families crowded on one side of the red velvet stanchions to snap photos of their loved ones.
The school system prides itself on inclusion. No one is to feel left out. While most of the students took to the carpet with a date, others strolled arm in arm with two of their friends, and others took to the windy staircase alone. All were met with the same loud applause.
“It is really a nice night,” said Jill Berenato, registered nurse for the high school who oversees the school’s Wellness Center. “It is not just about celebrating a date but being with your friends and going to your prom.”
The occasion included delicious fare from top chefs – buffet style. Prime rib, chicken, herb crusted tilapia and heaping portions of mashed potatoes, veggies and Caesar salad topped the plates of the prom goers. And who could forget desert? Guests topped their plates with brownies, cookies and other yummy confections.
The Flanders, an upscale hotel known for its fine dining, offered a lot more this prom night. A DJ created a mix of music to please any taste that kept the night flowing and people dancing.
Senior Madison Holmes and her guest Eddie Corcoran, both of Ocean City, sat down to enjoy their meals with a group of friends. They couldn’t wait until later that night when they could go to After Prom, an event at the high school to celebrate the night away safely and alcohol-free.
“It is a less stressful environment,” Corcoran said. “We love After Prom. This is the second year we are going.”
And to add royalty to the festive occasion, there was the crowning of the prom king and queen that went to seniors Adam King and Sophie Terny and prince and princess, juniors Richie Flemming and Nicole Rhodes respectively.
When each of their names were called, along with members of their court, the audience shouted in support.
Some prom goers wore catchy attire, that even led to cheers. Paul Stryker and Alexa Johnson were showing their Eagles Pride with custom tailored suit and dress with embroidered Eagles logos.
Kristen Craft and Hailey Martin are best friends. They went to the prom together and met up with another friend, Laura Griswold.
“We are having so much fun,” Griswold said.
She added that she was going to After Prom. “This is my senior year. I went last year and had a good time, so I don’t want to miss it.”
Ocean City High School Principal Matt Jamison said of the night, “We try to give students a red carpet venue especially for the parents to see them on this very special occasion. I had my wedding here many years ago. The Flanders is a very special place. It is a premier venue.”
Karen Bergman, in charge of catering for The Flanders, was busy making sure all the guests were happy from the beginning of the red carpet and throughout the night.
“We are so happy to be a part of the high school prom and we are delighted that we could provide an alternate venue for the red carpet,” she said.
At about 11 p.m., promgoers poured into buses to be shuttled to yet another event, this one albeit, a bit more casual – After Prom, complete with this year’s theme “Aloha.”
Some students would likely stay in their best dress for the evening, while others might get a bit more casual to spend their time in their high school – turned into a tropical paradise, thanks to the hard work of Amy and Bill Holmes, Jennifer and Charles Bowman, and the many helpers.
The event, which began in 1995 here is a way to keep kids in a safe environment while having a blast. Games, prizes, dancing and sports were just some of the exciting things to complete a wonderful night.
Check out all of our Red Carpet, Prom, and After Prom pictures on our Facebook page. There will be more in the morning.
Did you take any great pictures from the big night? Please feel free to share them on our Facebook page with all the details.