Singing Sweet Caroline

When the song ‘Sweet Caroline’ by Neil Diamond came on, several of the prom attendees ran onto the dance floor to dance and sing along. Photo by Stan Schwartz

Graduates and their families gathered at Tievoli Hills Resort

CLARKSVILLE—The dresses were long and the smiles were wide. Saturday evening held the hope and promise of better days to come, something the already graduated Clopton High School senior class really needed—and received.

Even though heavy thunderstorms threatened all day, by the time prom rolled around that evening, the rain had stopped and the sky began to clear above Tievoli Hills Resort. The parents, faculty and a few others did more than move a few tables and chairs for the evening’s main event. They made this prom happen. Months before, the treat of a pandemic had Gov. Mike Parson shutdown schools across the state, as well as non-essential businesses.

Springs sports were cancelled, graduations were on hold and proms were probably not going to happen, unless the state was able to slow the spread of the coronavirus. According to the governor, all indicators showed that the spread was slowing, prompting Parson to start a phased opening of the state.

That opening led directly to this prom, with the former students lining up in pairs outside to announced for the processional into the building. Most of the girls wore long gowns, and a few of the boys wore tuxedos. Some had suits or coats and ties. And with Independence Day just a week away, some of graduates opted for less formal attire. But as the parents gathered on the patio to take photos, nothing could dim their smiles—those attending the prom and the families who were there to witness this rite of passage.

Inside, the resort’s HVAC system worked overtime to keep the building cool from the heat and humidity brought on by the earlier storms.

The theme for the evening was Hawaii. Decorations had a decidedly tropical theme, and all the prom-goers were presented with leis from younger students in grass skirts.

The setting was complete, except no Hawaiian kettledrum music. The graduates had their own music in mind, as they jumped onto the dance floor early in the evening.

A light buffet and soft drinks were provided, but most of those attending the night’s festivities had already enjoyed an evening meal with their families before arriving at the resort. A voting station at the entrance, allowed everyone to write down their candidates for prom king and queen.

At the end of the evening, the Royal Court was presented and the prom king and queen were named. This year’s attendants were Olivia Brune and Scott Frank; Ashlyn Hunter and Jared Hoehn; Madisyn Parrish and Dylan Smith; Alyssa Smith and Shawn Yates.

And this year’s queen and king are: Scott Frank and Alyssa Smith. They started off the royal dance and then the rest of the court joined them on the dance floor.

An after party was also held on the grounds in the recreation center of the resort, for those who wanted to continue the celebration.

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