Things began going wrong on Friday morning, May 16, when the sun was obscured by clouds with the anticipation that the last day of school for graduating seniors at Belmont High School would be a wet one.
And when the clouds opened and the rain did come around 2:30 p.m., it was a harbinger of things to come for those preparing to attend the annual pre-Prom Promenade at Belmont High later that afternoon.
The Promenade, which began in the past decade, allows parents, relatives, siblings and friends to see the congregation of students and guests dressed in tuxes, gowns, dresses and suits, duded up for a night of fun and frivolity at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston.
Wearing a pair of two-tone derby dress shoes to go along with a walking stick and a classic tux, senior JD Niles said he obtained them at “Men’s Wearhouse, of course.”
One young lady – who asked that her “real” name not be used – said the toughest choice was “whether to go long or short” in terms of her dress and not the stock market. She went long for prom.
It also allows the school administration to make sure those attending the prom are able to attend a school event.
Due to traffic causing many of the prom attendees to be delayed, the start of the promenade was pushed back by nearly 15 minutes as the students waited in the wings of the auditorium.
“It’s a little hot in here,” said Olivia Kearns who, along with her date, Brian Cleary, would be the first couple on the stage.
As for the humidity and heat being generated in the hallway, “I’ll get over it. The photos are all done,” said Kearns about photos at home.
“It will all be worth it when we get there,” she said.
But just after the promenade began, the music went “on the fritz” before being righted by a member of the Physical Education Department.
Soon, the couples and groups were being corralled into the school’s cafeteria for a quick overview by staff before being placed on the buses.
But at the appointed 5 p.m. arrival time for the buses to show … nothing. As staff began calling Crystal Transportation, the lunch room resembled a well-dressed steam room with hairdos frizzing out and jackets removed.
Nearly 15 minutes late, the first buses came and the kids got to embark for Boston.
The, as the fourth bus pulled up, the heaven’s opened once again, as some couples did a quick trot to the transport while some of the young men took off their jackets – again – to shield their dates from the rain. Sir Walter Raleigh had nothing on these gentlemen.
And while most of the students and their guests made it to the Westin by 6:15 p.m, the final group of student, 33 in number, where stranded at Belmont High School until just before 6:45 p.m. for a bus to finally arrive.
When they began arriving back to the school around 11:20 p.m., the majority of prom goers – several young women walking barefoot with their shoes in their hands, many young men sans ties (some without their shirts) – said they had a good time.