An Enchanted Summer’s Evening: Magical night for seniors or hotspot for COVID?

For the last four years, seniors have been longing for their prom. A euphoric night filled with spectacular dresses and slow dancing stood as the pinnacle of the high school experience, a benchmark of Dublin High School’s vivid student life.

At least, before COVID-19.

With all notions of a traditional prom now out the gutter, seniors are mourning the loss of any and all school events that would have signified the end of their high school careers. However, one event still hangs in the distance, a tantalizing star on the horizon of a truly raucous school year. The proposed “Enchanted Summer’s Evening” will be an outdoor event in lieu of traditional senior events like Banquet, Ball, and Graduation Night. An elegant Italian dinner with all of the formalities and extravagant outfits of a normal school dance, it seems to be the perfect finale for what has proved to be a sobering year. Seemingly no costs have been cut for entertainment, as, according to the class of 2021 parents, the event is planned to include a “DJ, Hypnotist, roving magician, carnival-type games and drawings for prizes.” However, with an expected attendance of 600 people, the threat of a coronavirus outbreak looms directly over the dinner, leading some to question just how practical and safe the event could be.

The evening, planned for 5-10 PM on Saturday, May 29th at Alameda County Fairgrounds, has sparked some controversy due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused the cancellation of almost all previously planned senior events. Though the event has been county-approved, the dinner’s grand scale has led to the school’s inability to officially endorse the event, and the Class of 2021 parents have stated that the dinner is “hosted by the PFSO organization… It is not associated with DUSD.” With all the safety concerns brought by the pandemic, some seniors are hesitant when it comes to the potential endangerment that the night could cause. “I think we, the seniors, have to be honest with ourselves whether we’ll hold each other accountable. Until everyone gets vaccinated, COVID-19 is still a risk; we still have a responsibility to keep a safe environment, and I hope we can demonstrate that at the event,” said Deya Liao, a Class of 2021 student. 

Still, many seniors are planning on attending to celebrate the end of such an eventful year. As senior Nikki Bonato put it, “it’ll be a lot of fun getting ready and dancing with my friends that I haven’t seen in so long… I just hope that everyone follows the rules to keep us safe.” Pandemic or not, high school seniors still want to revisit the last four years of their lives, along with the friends and connections that they made along the way. The Enchanted Summer’s Evening is indicative of this, serving as a final bang as everyone moves on from their time at Dublin High School.

Hopefully, the class of 2021 will be able to spend one evening in May celebrating their fellow seniors and the fun that they’ve had over the last four years.