ASB to host outdoor Homecoming dance tonight

Sofie Zalatimo and Leena Hussein

After a two year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Palo Alto High School Associated Student Body will host an outdoor Homecoming dance today from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m today by the Haymarket Theatre.

In preparation for the Homecoming dance, Associated Student Body President Johannah Seah hangs lights around a tree on campus. To ensure COVID-19 safety, Palo Alto High School ASB is hosting an outdoor Homecoming dance from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m today across from the Haymarket Theatre, theming the dance “A Night Under the Stars”. ASB Vice President Ashley Meyer said planning an outdoor Homecoming dance created unique challenges for ASB. “Organizing and planning was a bit difficult but ASB was able to think outside of the box to make sure that homecoming would be a fun night for everyone,” Meyer said. (Photo: Leena Hussein)

According to Associated Student Body President Johannah Seah, accommodating for COVID-19 regulations with the outdoor setting posed new difficulties for ASB to tackle.

“Planning and organizing homecoming was a bit of a challenge this year, since we had to plan for it to be outdoors, and with that came challenges with decorations, music, layout, and security,” Seah said. “It was a struggle to decide where to host the dance, and we also had to consider security in an outside setting.”

Due to the outdoor setting, ASB selected ‘A Night Under the Stars’ as the Homecoming dance theme, deciding to host it outside the Haymarket Theatre and Performing Arts Center. According to ASB Secretary and junior Cindy Wang, ASB adapted its safety and security procedures for the dance.

“We had to make many changes because of COVID restrictions,” Wang said. “Since homecoming will be outdoors, we have to plan on renting fencing for securing the area.”

During the dance, students are expected to wear masks at all times except when eating, and only Paly students are allowed to attend. In addition to the added security challenges, Wang said the outdoor setting also provided new opportunities for food, including an ice cream taco truck from Rocko’s Tacos.

“We will have free ice cream tacos and snacks,” Wang said. “An outdoor Homecoming makes it a much different experience, and in my opinion, more chill. Being outdoors, we can bring more fun treats like the ice cream taco truck.”

Seah said ASB is taking advantage of the ‘A Night Under the Stars’ theme to create an exciting experience for students through decorations.

“Students will get to experience stunning decorations with shimmer and shine,” Seah said. “We will have star projectors and drapes to give an immersive experience as well.”

After missing a year of Homecoming, senior Owen Rice said he is excited to reconnect with others at the dance.

“I think I’m just looking forward to having a good time, listening to good music with a lot of cool people,” Rice said. “It’s been fun in the past years just hanging out and having positive energy there.”

Some underclassmen are looking forward to experiencing the Homecoming dance for the first time.

“It’s my first Homecoming dance, so I’m just really excited to see what it’s like and see everyone’s dresses, and just dance,” sophomore Miya Joshi said.

Tickets are available to Paly students at the door for $25. More information about the dance can be found on the ASB website.