PICKERINGTON, OH (WCMH) — Prom might end before it even starts for some central Ohio high school students.
Pickerington Central students have already purchased dresses, rented tuxedos and limos. Student Cheyenne Knapp says she has been looking forward to prom for years, “It is a nice that you get to dress up and look really pretty. You go dance with your friends and have fun. Girls look forward to it all of high school.” She told NBC4 she spent several hundred dollars on her dress. Another student, Ralen Cleveland, says his money went towards a limo and tuxedo, ” I bought a limo and everything, really expensive, and my tux, which was custom made. So have a lot of my friends and this is just a damper on our parade.”
Both Knapp and Clemens are two of what the district estimates as the district 50-75 juniors and seniors want to go to prom, but cannot get a ticket. The venue in Gahanna holds 480 people, which includes dance chaperones and venue personnel. There are 840 juniors and seniors that attend Pickerington Central High School.
Pickerington Schools Spokesperson David Ball said all eligible students had a chance to purchase tickets. Those tickets did not sell out until the last day to buy them online, “There was a period of about two weeks where kids could go online purchase tickets for Prom. There was plenty of time to get online and buy those tickets. In fact, tickets didn’t sell out until three hours before the initial closing date.” Ball tells NBC4 40 tickets were released Tuesday night and were sold “very quickly.”
Keisha Parks has a junior and senior at the school. Only one of her daughters was able to purchase a ticket. She said the online ticket website gave her numerous errors when she tried to purchase prom tickets and provided photos that detailed her troubles to NBC4. She says one of her daughters is crushed over the mishap, “My daughter is really heartbroken because this the junior and senior prom. This is something she has been planning for a long time.” Parks says all upperclassmen should have the chance to attend to their special night, “Each and every junior and senior should have had the opportunity to purchase a prom ticket this year.”
Students tell NBC4 the prom organizers booked a venue that was too small and now they are being made to pay for the poor decision. Ball says the district is trying to solve this problem just days before Saturday night’s prom. He explains, “We are exploring the possibility of different venues. We are exploring about the possibility of expanding at the venue we do have for Saturday night, maybe in tents in some outside area.”
Cleveland says he hopes these problems can get worked out before prom. He wants to make fond memories during the last big event before graduation, “This is all of our senior year and we would love nothing more than to just go to prom and enjoy our night and go out with a bang.”