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PVHS prom Saturday a return to the ‘Roaring 20s’

It was a time in history when America became the wealthiest nation in the world.

The 1920s saw unprecedented industrial growth and culture with the introduction of automobiles, telephones and the assertively modern style known as art deco.

Tomorrow night, students from Pahrump Valley High School (PVHS) will celebrate 2014 prom with a step back in time to the decade known as the “Roaring 20s”

PVHS English Instructor Deanna Brill said the venue this year has changed as the event will be held at the former Skate Zone at 1261 E. Calvada Blvd.

Costs associated with previous venues prompted school officials to seek an alternate site for the annual spring gala.

“We have pretty much finalized everything with our new venue. It starts at 7 p.m. Debbie Brooks, who is the owner, gave us such a good price on the venue and we have been decorating it. There’s also a kitchen area so we have a caterer coming in this year; we have already secured a DJ,” she said.

Brill noted that students chose this year’s theme following a class assignment earlier this year.

The assignment required them to read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

“All of the seniors read it last year and the juniors are all reading it this year. They are very excited about the theme and what we are doing with it,” she said.

Brill said students must have tickets to the event and present identification for entry.

Those who purchased tickets early managed to get a better price.

More than 270 tickets have been sold.

“The initial sales started at $25 or two for $50, but they have gone up $5 a week. We tried to keep it reasonable this year. This week, they are $45 for one or two for $80. They cannot buy them at the door because they have to purchase them by day’s end on Friday because we want a solid list of how many students are coming. If they bring a guest, they will have to have a guest pass filled out so we can verify who all will be at the venue,” she said.

Like most high school proms, the attire is formal.

Brill suggested evening gowns and tuxedos can be acquired locally.

“We have advertised that Pahrump Party Supply has formal wear at very reasonable rates. Some kids, of course, have gone to Las Vegas, but we also have a supply here at the school. We have a number of donated gowns that are free to students who would like them. They have all been cleaned and they are in great shape if a student needs something at the last minute,” she said.

The English instructor also said the venue has already been transformed into a 1920s-era ballroom through the hard work of volunteers.

“The venue looks fantastic, but I am a little biased. We spent more than 10 hours last Saturday and totally transformed it. The whole front entrance is all decorated. I don’t want to give too much away, but it looks really, really good and I’m very excited as well,” she said.

All rules and policies at PVHS, according to school officials, will also apply to Saturday’s event, which means efforts to “spike the punch bowl” will be greatly limited.

“We have a lot of chaperones” Brill said. “The Junior ROTC always helps out, too. We expect proper decorum and etiquette. The kids are very well-behaved and have a good time,” she said.

PVHS Science Instructor Robin Williams also serves as the student council adviser for the 2014 prom.

Williams noted that the early ticket sales allowed for the school to roughly determine how many students will attend the event.

“The goal was get an accurate head count. We’re not trying to punish the students who buy them on the final week leading up to the prom. We have to charge a little bit more because we may find at the last minute that we may need to buy additional plates or whatever,” he said.

On Tuesday, PVHS junior Liz Anderson was all by herself on the floor of the student activities center preparing decorations for this year’s prom.

Anderson was applying red glitter to one of the many posters that will be displayed at the venue.

The junior class routinely assists in preparations for the senior prom as well as graduation.

“Everyone has a club meeting right now, but they will be here pretty soon,” she said without missing a beat on her project. “Things are going really well. All of the prom decorations are complete and everything looks very nice. We did a lot of researching on the 1920s, which included the entire junior class reading “The Great Gatsby” earlier this year,” she said.

School officials say they expect to equal or surpass last year’s prom ticket sales. Roughly 300 students attended the cruise ship-themed “A Night at Sea” event last year at Mountain Falls.

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