With the pandemic cutting so many celebrations short within the past school years, there is little wonder as to why this year’s homecoming dance is creating such a hallway buzz. At 7 p.m. on Sept. 25, Oswego will host its annual homecoming dance, after it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. Compromising with both the dance and disease, this year’s homecoming will be outdoors.
As long as weather allows, the school building will be completely closed off to students. Staff planning the event hope the new location will help combat COVID spread. The normal gymnasium dances have been replaced by the barricaded stadium parking lot, fitting in with this year’s “Under the Stars” theme.
“Being that everyone’s on top of eachother, that’s why we decided to go outside…we figured if we had it in one of the gyms…it wouldn’t be the best use of space,” Student Council Adviser Ms. Sweeney said. “It will actually be a bigger space for people to hopefully spread out.”
Not only has COVID-19 moved the dance outdoors, but it has limited the amount of people involved. While all OHS students are invited to bring a guest from within the district, only seniors will have the ability to bring guests from outside of Oswego, according to Ms. Sweeney.
“That’s also why we are limiting the outside guests to just seniors this year, to try to crack down on any transmission between schools,” Ms. Sweeney said.
Of course, being outdoors has also allowed Student Council more freedom in its planning as opposed to other years. In addition to the water bottle stands that served as refreshment options at past dances, students will be given the option to dine with multiple food trucks. Ms. Sweeney hinted to the appearance of both savory and sweet trucks for students to enjoy when they are not dancing.
Even with all the work being put into creating both an enjoyable and safe environment, there is still concern among staff and students. Because of the new outdoor location, masks are not required. Sweeney warned there is little the school is able to do to enforce a truly socially distanced experience.
“It’s hard with that crowd to try to get them to dance six feet and three feet apart. It’s probably not going to happen…people should try to be safe and do what they’re comfortable with,” Ms. Sweeney said. “We’re not saying you have to wear a mask, but definitely it is encouraged, especially if you’re going to be very close to someone”.
Sweeney’s biggest piece of advice to create the best experience for students? “Stay home if you’re sick.”
Tickets for the dance can be purchased online through PushCoin until 2:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 24. In case of inclement weather, the dance will be moved indoors and split from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for freshmen and sophomores, and 8:30 to 10:30 for juniors and seniors.