MOVILLE, Iowa -- Mixing in blue and white to match the school's color scheme, Woodbury Central High School students worked over the last six days to get the gymnasium spruced up for Saturday's 2019 prom.
Lexi Strachan lifted one end of the four lengthy blue paper diagonal walkways in the middle of the gym, and called out to fellow student Sarah Crichton at the other end.
"I need more. Give me to the end of the WC. I can still see the W," Strachan said.
They were among a dozen junior students working Thursday morning under the direction of junior class sponsor Mary Schultz, and another batch of workers arrived a half-hour later.
Meanwhile, Ryan Putze and Hanna Stratton gave directions to Autumn Weaver, perched on a ladder, on how large, flowing fabric would best hang down from a Sphinx head that was affixed to the north basketball backboard.
All this, plus huge cut-outs of the celebrated Hollywood sign, Las Vegas sign and a huge Eiffel Tower replica, were pieced together to remake your basic gym into a visual representation of the Around The World theme.
"Nobody expects a 17-foot Eiffel Tower in the middle of the gym floor," junior Skylar Hannah said. "I really like the Eiffel Tower. I thought it came together nicely."
The Woodbury Central prom is among the earliest of proms in Siouxland, kicking off this month and extending into mid-May. The Bishop Heelan High School prom is on May 4, and in the Sioux City public school system the proms will be held on May 4 for East and West high schools, and May 11 for North.
The Woodbury Central junior students handled the set-up details, as with the longstanding tradition that eleventh-graders pull off a fun prom for the seniors, in this case the 2019 Woodbury Central graduating class of 55 pupils, who are mere weeks away from graduation.
Putze said proms should be a memorable time for the participants.
"It is fun for everybody and something for people to remember for the rest of your life, something more to remember than your ordinary day of school," Putze said.
He was a member of the junior class committee who mulled prom theme ideas some weeks ago, before a final decision was made. He didn't mind the six full days of work.
"Mrs. Schultz knows I like to put things together and am creative," Putze said. "We have a lot of decorations, so we have had pretty constant work for the week. We stay after school for some days."
Putze added there appears to have been no shirking of duties.
"I would say most of the class has shown up and done what they needed to do," he said.
Hannah offered, "It is a good learning experience on how people work together. People you wouldn't expect really step up."
She said the last work came Friday in the commons area just off the gymnasium, since it holds school lunch tables. Those long rectangular tables were switched out for smaller circular ones, table cloths and table decorations, for the banquet meal that follows the Grand March and precedes the dance in WC's smaller gymnasium.
Hannah said for many students, the prom is the biggest school social event of the year, rating higher than homecoming.
"A lot of people really look forward to it," she said. "It is not that big of a deal for me."
Nonetheless, for a second year Hannah will be taking in prom activities, albeit with considerably more juggling in 2019. She is dating a boy from the Kingsley-Pierson district, a 10-mile drive from Moville, which is also holding its prom Saturday.
That means Hannah will go to the K-P Grand March and dance, then around midnight, she will return to Moville for the WC After Prom festivities of a magician, karaoke, games, inflatables, photo booth and food.
With such options for many proms in the area, memories will be made as students go to activities as dating partners, or as others pair off with friends. Putze is resigned to the fact that a long week of WC gym prep work will be relatively short-lived.
"As soon as the Grand March is done, (the huge gym decorations) get torn down, and all the After Prom Party stuff goes in," Putze said.