NAPOLEON — Plans for prom and graduation at Napoleon High School were shared with the Napoleon Area Board of Education during its regular meeting Wednesday.

In addition, the board recognized student achievement (see related story, A2).

In his report, Napoleon High School principal Ryan Wilde shared prom for the junior and senior classes will be held as the inaugural Wildcat Block Party 2021. The event will take place May 7 (with a rain date of May 8) from 6:30-11:30 p.m. It will be held outdoors in downtown Napoleon on W. Washington Street, between Scott Street and N. Perry Street.

Included will be music, food trucks, games, professional photography, prizes and more. Local restaurants will offer dinner reservations to Napoleon students, with students receiving Chamber of Commerce money to spend during the evening to offset the cost of meals.

Formal and informal dress attire is permissible for the event.

“Events like prom are significant, it’s an event that students really look forward to, are supported by their families and valued by the community,” said Wilde. “Knowing that, we started having a discussion about prom right after the holidays. Those discussions grew into an idea of how we could support our city businesses, and work in conjunction with city officials and the health department to give our students a great event while ensuring everyone’s safety.

“In the fall for homecoming we secured reservations for our students at city restaurants, and that led to the realization the city has a great venue downtown that was created to host these types of events,” continued Wilde. “There’s a nice little pocket park there, additional lighting, and in working with the city we have a nice parade route and entertainment permissions to move forward. It aligned very neatly with CDC, ODE and health department guidelines.”

The Wildcat Block Party 2021 is open to all juniors and seniors, plus one guest. The guest can be from another school, however, the guest needs to be in high school, or at least a recent high school graduate. Social distancing and the wearing of masks will be required under certain circumstances.

“There are formal options, informal options and having prom in this manner reduces the costs for students,” said Wilde. “There’s already been discussion about doing a block party for prom every other year, so that our juniors and seniors get a different, but great experience, both years.”

Wilde went on to share planning for graduation is underway for an in-person ceremony on May 30 at 2 p.m. Although details are being worked out, the ceremony will take place in the Grand Canyon (high school gymnasium).

Due to pandemic restrictions, graduates will be limited to a certain number of people who can attend.

“The Grand Canyon creates such a great environment, and after asking the students, they wanted to get back to the traditional event,” said Wilde. “I can tell you, there is nothing more impressive than seeing our graduates walk across the stage in the Grand Canyon as we’ve done for years.

“We are fortunate that with the size of the Grand Canyon, and the amount of occupants allowed, we can create a great and safe environment for graduation,” added Wilde. “Of course there will be restrictions based on the pandemic, but seeing our students receive their diploma, that’s a moment our students and families want to experience. It’s a time-honored tradition here at Napoleon.”

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