What do these two things have in common? Lots, actually – let me explain.
Every spring in Ukarumpa (I use the term “spring” loosely, since it’s pretty much spring year-round) we have a shindig for the Juniors and Seniors called “Banquet.” It’s sorta like Prom with a twist. Whereas normal proms involve eating out and dancing to really loud music (or sitting around confetti-filled tables watching people dance to really loud music), Ukarumpa does things right. Not only do they get rid of the loud music, the awkward dancing, and the confetti tables – they replace them with joy.
To begin with, every year has it’s own theme. This year it was Treasure Island.
The whole community works together to change the Teen Center (where they do Hamburger Night) into a restaurant, carnival and theater all in one. The transformation is beyond impressive. When all was said and done this year, there was a bowling alley built upstairs:
…an array of booths for games and crafts:
…and a dozen tables set for fine dining (served by the parents):
But best of all (I’m biased) is the Banquet Entertainment. Each year, a community member writes a play based on all of the inside jokes and quirks of the senior class. This year, my good friend Leah and I were the playwrights.
Our actors, for the most part, were parents of the seniors – plus one or two others like Amanda herself and some of our fellow teachers.
Amanda’s sister Kelly (who actually knows what she’s doing) directed the thing, and despite having only four weeknights to practice, it came off beautifully.
And since some people simply can’t imagine prom without the awkward dancing, we threw in a little choreographed number for the parents. It was plenty awkward.