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Washington High School holds annual prom

GTNS photo by David Hotle

Dave Carter, left, Hannah Anderson, Olivia Pacha and Keith Zabel get ready to attend the grand march before the 2019 Washington High School prom Saturday night.
GTNS photo by David Hotle Dave Carter, left, Hannah Anderson, Olivia Pacha and Keith Zabel get ready to attend the grand march before the 2019 Washington High School prom Saturday night.

High school prom has been called the most romantic night of the year for many high-schoolers and on Saturday member of the junior and senior classes at Washington High School (WHS), as well as their guests, entered the “garden of romance,” this year’s theme.

Arriving at the semiformal event from a special dinner in Iowa City, Olivia Pacha, 17, and her escort Keith Zabel, 17, and friends Dave Carter, 16, and Hannah Anderson, 17 were already decked out in their tuxedos and prom dresses. As the students gathered for the grand march in which the couples would be introduced to hundreds of parents in the Washington High School Auditorium, the couples commented that their day had already been busy and, with after prom, it wouldn’t be over until about 2:30 a.m.

“We got pictures on the square at 3 p.m., then we went to Joseph’s Steakhouse in Iowa City,” Pacha said of the day so far.

Zabel said the group had forgone the renting of a limousine in favor of riding in his jeep.

Getting ready for prom, however, had involved a lot more than simply the events of the day, Anderson commented that the two women had gotten their hair and nails done specially for the event. The dresses they wore to the event were specifically altered to be flattering on them.

“It’s a one-night-of-the-year event,” Anderson said. “We might as well go all out.”

Zabel had asked to escort Pacha to the prom a few weeks ago while the two were at Anderson’s house.

“I knew she had a great personality and I thought it would be a good time,” he said.

Pacha responded quickly with an affirmative, saying Zabel is very nice and she knew she would have a good time at the event.

With the prom quickly coming up, Anderson said she had asked Carter to the dance. Carter, who is a student at New London High School, said he jumped at the chance to go. He also commented that he planned to ask Anderson to New London’s prom next weekend.

As the couples lined up outside the gym to walk through the decorative garden that had been built inside, Zabel commented the group planned to dance for a while, change clothes, then go to the AfterProm event and try to win some good prizes.

At the event Principal Erik Buchholz recalled his senior prom with the WHS class of 1983. He had taken his future wife to the prom and recalls some difficulties that night.

“We did our grand march early and left to get dinner. We went to Iowa City and we got back late for pictures,” he laughed.