BRUNSWICK, Ohio — A senior year homecoming dance is considered a rite of passage, but like so many other things, the pandemic has put an end to milestones like high school dances.
Highland High School principal Carrie Knapp said just because they couldn’t hold a dance for the students, doesn’t mean they couldn’t get creative.
“Just make sure that they had something while we waited to see if maybe a homecoming dance could be held later on in the school year,” she said.
Knapp, working alongside a group of students, offered an alternative event: a night out at Brunswick’s Mapleside Farms.
“This is part of being in school, hanging out with friends. The social aspect is so important, especially now,” said Knapp. “We wanted to go somewhere where we knew the protocols were in place, so that was our first conversation with the owners of Mapleside.”
Nearly 400 students, who were required to wear masks, had free reign of the more than 100 acres of Mapleside Farms. They could go on hayrides, navigate the corn maze, go down the 311-foot super slide, and more.
Senior A.J. Cooper said while this wasn’t exactly the homecoming he was picturing, he is just happy to have something.
“We watched the class of 2020 go through it. Their graduation, they all walked separately, they had different time slots. Their prom was canceled. I was like ‘Oh, if this keeps going on my senior year is going to be a bummer,’ but now that we are back in school, it’s given me some hope that I will have a, somewhat, normal senior year,” said Cooper.
Senior Delaney Hill said she is just trying to go with the flow and navigate a new normal.
“l expected my senior year to be all about making memories and it definitely has been all about making memories, just different memories than I thought,” she said.