Home Local News Mask-erade Prom parade provides alternative to traditional dance

Mask-erade Prom parade provides alternative to traditional dance

Richmond Senior Students walk the red carpet for a photo shoot at Saturday evening's prom parade. See more photos below the story.
Photos by Betty Gallo McIntyre

HAMLET — The old saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” can be compared to the recent span of events happening over the past several months which have brought an abundance of lemons. 

We see so many people bringing good from the bad; many have chosen “lemonade” over “lemons.” 

One event in particular took place Saturday, June 27 from 7 -9 p.m. in the parking lot of the Cole Auditorium.

Richmond Senior High School art teacher Andrea Haselhoff, along with numerous other staff members, brainstormed and decided to do something special for the seniors of 2020 since all proms had been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

“We were motivated to hold this event to give the students, and especially the seniors, a meaningful and memorable experience,” said Haselhoff. 

The post-graduation prom was called the Mask-erade Prom Parade 2020. 

Several professionals from the community donated their time to help make it come to pass: photographer Jimmy McDonald offered a photo shoot; Jesuite’s Creations put together the glistening backdrop for the photo shoot; RSHS Choral Director Chuck Wright, along with RSHS band director Edwin Carter, were the DJs for the event; and Joey Bennett and the Cole Auditorium provided the venue. Security was also provided by the RSHS administration, resource officers, and security to ensure the event ran smoothly. 

Many of the seniors made dinner reservations in Southern Pines before the event. 

Students began arriving at the Cole Auditorium around 6:45 p.m. and started forming the prom parade. 


The formally dressed students— with smiles on their faces — got out of their vehicles, stepped onto the red carpet, and proceeded towards the decorated photo shoot. 

There was no cost to the students to attend the event, but they were required to wear prom attire and were not allowed to get out of their vehicles except to stop for the photo shoot. 

“The class of 2020 has had a rough year,” said Jesuite Ellerbe, from Jesuite’s Creations. “Being able to be a part of this was a pleasure.” 

McDonald said “I thought it was a good idea,” said McDonald. “They deserve some type of recognition. I’m always glad to help out when I can.”

McDonald’s wife and son also volunteered their time. 

All state regulations as well as social-distancing protocols were applied.

Students enjoyed small group after-prom parade parties which were Several of the students’ parents and other family members hosted after-prom parties.

“While this semester has been anything but normal, we at RSHS have strived to give our students as many senior moments as we possibly can,” said Haselhoff. “We love our kids and always have their best interests at heart.” 

Taking the lemons life has dished out and making something sweet out of it truly made a memorable difference in these student’s lives this past Saturday night.


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