The annual parade of prom vehicles will move in a new direction in 2012.
Instead of a line of vintage muscle cars, fire trucks and even the occasional family sedan heading east toward Festival Hall in Racine, party-goers will go west to the Sturtevant Sportsplex, 10116 Stellar Ave., in the Renaissance Business Park.
Jessica MacPhail, president of the Rotary Club of Downtown Racine, said in a written release that the Sportsplex has more capacity for the event, which will be held May 19. Last year, 1,500 students attended the event.
“Over the years, we have attracted more prom-goers,” MacPhail wrote. “We wanted to ensure that we have the capacity to safely serve them all into the future.
When the event was held at Festival Hall, some of the activities had to be held outside in heated rented tents and sometimes the bad weather would force the Club to cancel those activities. Having the extra room at the Sportsplex means that all of the activities can take place indoors.
Coordinating traffic and security for the evening will be a concern. Sturtevant Police Chief Sean Marschke said he has already been in touch with the City of Racine Police Department to start working on coordinating the parade.
"They've done this a few times so we'll definitely be interested in working with them and partnering in our neighboring agencies as well," he said.
Sturtevant hosts the largest July 3rd celebration in Racine County so officers do have experience keeping large crowds safe. Marschke said he has full confidence in his department to make sure Racine-area students stay safe.
In the past, the event was held at Memorial Hall, but it was moved to Festival Hall to accommodate the growing number of students.
“We’re proud to provide a wonderful evening for the community’s graduates to commemorate their accomplishments and to send them off to adulthood with elegance and fun in a safe environment,” MacPhail also wrote in the release. “We look forward to this year’s Rotary Post Prom, ‘Passport to Prom.’”