Lake Forest High School’s prom is known for its unique tradition, the red carpet event that preludes the dance. It’s almost like a Hollywood premiere, but it’s not– it’s just a high school dance. The red carpet stretches from the front door down to the crowd of parents, who are fervently snapping pictures and cheering loudly. This tradition is fun for not only students, but also their families and friends. Children of the community watch as high schoolers strut down the runway, looking up to them and anticipating the day they get to experience the same event. Some students see the red carpet as a time to shine, but others dread the thought of all eyes being on them.
First, it is no secret that the red carpet puts pressure on students. Of course, with any added pressure, some students like the attention and take it in stride while others dread the event and perhaps even avoid it. A lot of people come out to witness this tradition, making students feel the need to “dress to impress.” One student says, “The red carpet makes me stressed because I feel like I need to find the perfect dress.” We all want to look stylish but also feel the need to make a fashion statement so that we aren’t just another girl in a basic dress or another boy in a black tuxedo. Girls put thought into what dress they choose. Another student mentioned, “I am wearing a tight dress because if it’s windy I don’t want to risk flashing everyone.” This may sound silly but when some girls think about the red carpet they imagine anything that could go wrong–especially the biggest fear of all, falling. So girls, make sure you can walk in those heels and don’t worry, whatever dress you choose will look amazing on that carpet.
Once you find a date and an outfit to wear, you’re ready to go. Prom day begins and you anticipate taking pictures, walking down the runway, and dancing with your friends. Prom is something that most kids only get to experience once or twice in their lifetime, but what if you can’t find a date? Even if you don’t have a date you should attend prom with your friends, but there’s always one thought that holds some of these people back: The thought of walking down the red carpet alone.
One student added, “If you don’t have a date the red carpet can be really intimidating,” and “I don’t want to be that person that people feel pity for.” The red carpet shouldn’t be something that holds anyone back from a night full of memories. Strut down that runway and show everyone that strong individual you are. In thirty seconds it’ll be over and then you can hop on the bus with all your friends.
There’s many opinions on this tradition, but most of them are positive and very supportive of it. Students feel honored to have the school treat the event with the amount of class and notoriety they do. What’s not to like about walking down a red carpet in front of one of the most beautiful high schools in America? “I think it’s really interesting that only Lake Forest High School does it. It’s a fun thing we do as a community. I know that all the younger kids come and look up to the girls walking down the red carpet.” The Lake Forest High School prom wouldn’t be as special as it is now without the red carpet event, a memory that stays with us forever. “You walk out, people are cheering, and you feel as if you are famous.” Enjoy the red carpet and feel the love of the community that we call home.