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Post Prom Exiting Racine, Heading to Sturtevant Sportsplex

The number of prom-goers has grown over the years and the crowd requires a larger space.

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.’”

mau February 16, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I didn't even know they had the Sport's Complex. Sturtevant continues to grow. They should show Caledonia how it's done.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) February 16, 2012 at 04:47 AM
@mau - the building is in the Renaissance across the street from the movie theater on Hwy 20. There should be lots of room there for all the activities ...
mau February 16, 2012 at 04:54 AM
I think safer and more convenient to get to also.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) February 16, 2012 at 05:00 AM
The parade will definitely take longer!
Karen Itzenhuiser February 16, 2012 at 06:40 AM
It's going to be perfect. More people will be able to see the parade. I'm looking forward to it.
Rina February 16, 2012 at 12:24 PM
As a senior it's really disappointing news to find out that 60 years of tradition are being flushed down the toilet. I wanted the dream prom night down town, just like my mom & grandma had before me.
GearHead February 16, 2012 at 02:03 PM
The new venue was needed because Prom was a victim of it's own success. More schools are attending now, a good thing! Security was always a nightmare at the festival hall, and parking was problematic. Even though the Sportsplex is hugemongus, you can bet the Rotarians will come up with a clever way to make the dance area intimate. Festival hall was the perfect place in this regard, but the food service and other activities were a nightmare to manage.
Chris Larsen February 16, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Much like the original move from Memorial Hall to Festival Hall, this move is much needed at this time, as space is an issue.The Rotary will do this justice and I am so glad that they will be showcasing our Village for this well honored tradition.
Tim Scott February 16, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I'll be watching for the Dickert Administration and it's mouthpiece, the Dickert Times, to use this as an excuse to call for a new Fest hall, another TIF, and loads more of taxpayer $$ to be squandered on Downtown Racine. The local shopper, by proclaiming the change of venue as "Breaking News" is all I need to know to understand that this event will be used by Mayor John "UNWINNABLE" Dickert to call for more government spending and intervention in Downtown Racine. It is a dream article and issue for a spendaholic like him. The change of Venue doesn't call for any change in Fest Hall, or Downtown Racine. What it does call for is getting rid of the failed VenuWorks contract that is making a profit from taxpayer $$$, and awarding the contract to an Entity that can take what exists and make it successful - exactly like what Paul Curtin did with the North Beach Oasis. The smartest thing Racine could do with their failed Downtown is let the free market take control, get rid of many of the decrepit and outdated buildings that are too expensive to update/renovate, and let those who have already invested their money and time in Downtown make Downtown Racine thrive.
jt February 17, 2012 at 02:19 AM
i agree mau!
Jeff Warg February 17, 2012 at 06:25 AM
Festival Hall is mostly sitting empty recently. The city gave VenuWorks a 3 year contract renewal without taking bids. The contract is worth more than $380,000 per year, including professional services fees. The city presented it to everyone as a 70k contract per year. A few months earlier, the city put up for bids the North Beach Oasis contract which was worth only about 11k per year. Quite a double standard. They switched operators at the Oasis for the chance to make 5 percent more this year ($550). Gone is the man who turned the Oasis into a destination, Paul Curtin. The city claims to be happy with Venuworks. They have lost Brew Fest and now the Post Prom. VenuWorks doesn't even have a printed rate card and they charge the same rate on weekdays as they do on weekends. I looked into this myself. Taxpayers should know that Venuworks is averaging only $185 per day in rental fees for Festival Hall. All the info about Festival Hall is in the 2012 budget. It is a total joke.
jt February 17, 2012 at 09:59 AM
sounds like outsourcing festival hall is the problem, why would you want to privatize even more and let more profiteering go on with taxpayer money?
Tim Scott February 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM
jt says: "why would you want to privatize even more and let more profiteering go on with taxpayer money?" Since I suggested it go out for competitive bids and did not call for privatizing it, and I see that your comments were made at 3:59a.m., you were either drunk, or you are stupid. I'll say drunk, for now.
Tim Scott February 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM
"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." Mt. Pleasant Police will need to be included as well. In fact, City of Racine Alderman have already been testing the response time of Mt. Pleasant Police to Mt. Pleasant Parks. I do believe they find it satisfactory, and that night time response (when things are slow, and Parks closed) is more than adequate for providing proper security.
susan paulson March 30, 2012 at 11:08 PM
totally a bad idea...we need our traditional prom...perhaps they don't need sooooo many activities if it means leaving Festival Hall. Susan Paulson.
jt March 31, 2012 at 01:56 AM
sorry tim, not drunk! some people get up early in the mornings to workout before work !

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