“An Evening In Paris” was the theme of our prom the year I was a junior. It was a closely guarded secret by the junior class. It had to be a surprise when the seniors arrived at the banquet.
We decided our theme would represent an outdoor café near the Eiffel Tower. Instead of long tables we used small square tables like a café would use. It was more intimate, and I think we all enjoyed the small groups.
To form a lower ceiling in the large room, we strung dark midnight blue crepe paper from one side of the room to the other to bring the ceiling down from 20 feet to 10 feet high. It looked like a night sky when the room was dark and lit by the candles on the tables. The sidewalls were covered with silver crepe paper streamers, from the ceiling to about half way down. Blue and silver was the senior class colors.
The bottom half was covered with a heavy cardboard runner that looked like a rock wall. Hanging from the wall at ceiling height was a red and white striped awning that was about 3 feet wide.
On the end wall was the Eiffel Tower. It was 10 feet tall and filled the wall from floor to ceiling. This was a large mural we bought from a company that specialized in items for proms. They had everything for hundreds of themes from the large murals to the program at each plate.
At the other end of the room was the café scene. This was a wall-sized mural that was 8 feet high and 10 feet wide. The mural was of the front of a café, and had a chubby chef in the doorway. In the corner of the room by the café was a fountain. We left this project to the boys to design and build, and it probably was a mistake to trust them with it.
The boys decided to use a small horse tank, which they painted black inside, for the base of the fountain. Inside the tank there was a metal washtub, also painted black, sitting on some cement blocks to raise it up higher. Coming up through the middle of the washtub was a garden hose with a nozzle on the end to make the fountain.
The outside was covered with fake rock, which was only the printed cardboard. It sounded like a fountain, but even in the darkened room it still looked like a horse tank with a washtub in the middle and a garden hose.
The tables were spread with red checked tablecloths and white place settings. Beside each plate there was a little program. The front of the program had the same little café scene on it, with the little chef that was on the wall mural.
Each little program had the menu and the order of events for the evening, and a place in the back for autographs. It was held together by a little white cord, with a pencil attached and a tassel on the end. The menu section was written in French, but since we didn’t know any French, we made up most of the words we didn’t know what it said.
The sophomore class always served the banquet. Our servers were dressed like waiters and waitresses. The guys wore black slacks and white shirts and little black ties. The girls wore white blouses and black skirts and little white aprons.
The year before when we were the servers the junior class had an island theme and we had to wear grass skirts with short shorts under them and then a strapless top that left our midriff uncovered.
The trouble with the top was that it didn’t want to stay up where it belonged. It had elastic on the top and bottom but didn’t have straps. So when I was not in the banquet room I was constantly pulling up the top. My top and shorts were made from a hot pink floral pattern material that was pretty but there wasn’t enough of it to suit me.
As soon as the meal was finished and the class presidents and the faculty finished their speeches, everyone left the banquet room for 30 minutes. This allowed the sophomore class time to get the room ready for the dance. They removed the tables but left some of the chairs along the walls, and for our theme, they left three tables sitting near the fountain in front of the café mural.
Our “Evening In Paris” was a lot of fun to plan and an evening we will never forget. It was memorable because we, the junior class, planned it and decorated the room and then spent the whole evening of the prom with the senior class.
This was a special night for both classes, because in a few weeks the seniors would be leaving school. It was our last night together and the evening was for the junior and senior classes only. The kids today don’t know it, but they are missing out on most of the fun when they don’t decorate and have the banquet together for their junior-senior prom. To email Sandy: [email protected]