STUART, Fla. — The pandemic canceled school proms across the region last year. But, some seniors made the controversial decision to go outside of their school district to hold their own prom.
South Fork High School students dressed to the nines as they entered the Mansion at Tuckahoe to attend their prom Sunday evening.
"Everyone is really excited, you know," said Eduardo Diaz. "Some try not to show it. But I know deep inside, with all the pictures of the limousines, party buses, everyone is having a great time."
Pandemic protocols are in place to enter the venue, such as wearing a mask and taking temperatures. The theme is enchanted forest.
"There's lots of blankets everywhere, lots of logs, trees, you know, very forest," said Diaz.
Diaz organized Sunday night's dance after the Martin County School District decided it would not sponsor a prom this school year because of the pandemic. Diaz said he received backlash from some in the community and because the venue is on county property, they were required to sign notarized waivers to attend.
State Rep. Toby Overdorf's office brought in a notary to help.
“It was important to give the seniors those moments that they deserved to finish out their senior prom. I mean they’ve overcome so much in the past given year and sailed with success in the given year,” said Shannon Chapman, District 83 Secretary.
"It's just really not a dance. It's a memory, you know," said Diaz. "Everyone who has helped out here who is an adult says they still remember their prom from senior year. The best thing about this is that we are building memories as we go."
Martin County sheriff's deputies were on site to keep the crowd safe. Part of the prom venue was outdoors to help with the COVID-19 safety precautions.