At the Northside Library on April 25, prom goers immersed in musical and cinematic nostalgia. They danced to 80s hits, such as Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “September,” and Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” in front of a projector screen airing clips from old movies like “Back to the Future.” Over 80 people went to the library’s adults–only Northside 80’s Prom, a fundraiser which raised about $1,300.
“The inspiration for the program is that I was looking through my old prom photos and I came across my picture and I didn’t like it; I had the wrong dress and I looked really geeky,” says Cheryl Lee, branch manager and program coordinator of the Northside Library. “I always had this idea of organizing an adult prom but was never able to execute it until I became a branch manager and had the space to produce this event with the right team. The Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends heard about my plans, and we decided to partner up and do this as a fundraiser. The 80s is my favorite decade and that’s why this is an 80s themed prom.”
In addition to DJ Kevin’s 80s music for the dance floor, prom goers also played popular games from the decade, including Jeopardy and Family Feud. Makeup artists worked on faces to apply bright pastel cosmetics, like blue eye shadow and neon pink blush. In a study room, attendees played Atari games, such as Pac Man and Donkey Kong. The camera–friendly posed for pictures in front of a theme banner or under a vintage balloon arch. A snack bar featured fruit and chicken nuggets donated by Chick–fil–A, ring pops, Cool Ranch Doritos, sugar straws and Haribo gummy candy.
At the crafts table, Carly Sherman was making perler bead art, a craft where small pillars of varied colors are set on a plastic grid to produce a design. Using an arm decorated with a corsage, Sherman held up a graphic depicting a heart between two initials.
“I’m making a refrigerator magnet as homage to my boyfriend,” she says. “It reads C hearts M.”
Lodina Slawecki heard about the prom through a flyer and brought her husband as her prom date. New Order’s “Blue Monday” was one of her favorite songs from the 80s.
“I like the music and dancing here,” she says. “I wasn’t permitted to go to prom in high school. So this is my first prom. In my mind of what a prom should be like, this is it.”