Some of the favors for this years prom include a keychain, sticker, and photo booth picture holder. The keychain doubles as students ticket.
Some of the favors for this year’s prom include a keychain, sticker, and photo booth picture holder. The keychain doubles as students’ ticket.
Photo by Aly Dusing

Lions, mummies and dinosaurs – oh my! WEGO heads to the Field Museum for Prom 2024

WEGO will host another prom in downtown Chicago on May 3.

The 2024 “Meet Me at Midnight” WEGO Prom is set to occur on May 3 at the Chicago Field Museum.

The high school has alternated prom locations between various interactive locations, which began in 2013 with the Brookfield Zoo, and later on, places such as the Shedd Aquarium. The school’s Student Council looks to offer a unique experience for students’ junior and senior proms, allowing for variety during their time as an upperclassman.

Details for Prom 2024 can be found on posters hung around the building. Please note: attendees need to attend a mandatory meeting on April 29. (Photo by Aly Dusing)

“Originally, when we started going to places, we did Brookfield Zoo. We’ve done a couple of different places. This is only our second time [at the Field Museum]; the Science and Industry has been doing it for over a decade. So we’ve always enjoyed kind of going there and opening up different exhibits,” prom coordinator and Student Council adviser Candace Fikis said.

Student Council members and their advisors have been working towards creating an enjoyable prom.

The high school has worked to make the most out of their money when it comes to prom. In addition to the alluring locale, prom tickets include photo booth access, dinner and dessert based on a “Chicago Samples” theme, a live DJ, party favors, and reserved exhibits.

“Certain exhibits will be open, not the entire museum, that would be like way, way expensive, but quite a few of the popular ones that we did last year and that people really liked, like the big dinosaur room,” Fikis said.

Other exhibits open to promgoers include the Grainger Hall of Gems, and large mammals hall.

“There are also a few small exhibits along the parameters of the Great Hall that wil be open too,” Fikis said.

Fikis also mentioned a buffet-style menu, which includes pasta, salad, and kabobs, and later on, a dessert table where students can go back and forth from dancing to snacking.

Despite the Student Council’s efforts, it was not possible to lower the cost of prom tickets any further than $165 per person, a $40 increase from last year’s prom.

The members attempted to put on the Glow Dance, which was canceled due to a lack of ticket sales, as well as hosting a Chipotle event in hopes of gaining revenue. West Chicago Community High School also offers saving opportunities such as the WEGO Boutique, where students can find dresses, accessories, and other prom apparel for free.

“The counseling department is going to run their WEGO Boutique again. That’s a good way to save some money, you know, so you buy the ticket but maybe you can get a free dress. If money is tight, that could be another option,” Fikis said.

Students remain on the fence about this dance pricing: most indicated they would attend prom anyway, despite the increase in ticket prices.

“I mean, I guess there’s like a lot of mixed emotions about it. I really don’t mind – it’s prom – I know it’s going to be expensive,” senior Aldo Alfaro said.

The largest T. Rex recovered, Sue, reigns at the Field Museum and is the top exhibit. (Photo by Sebastian Alacron)

Students suggested that the venue, and the cost of Coach buses to and from the city, might play into the expenses encountered this year.

“The tickets for this year’s prom are extremely pricey, to say the least. However, I wasn’t entirely shocked about this expense. It is in the city and our school rented out a museum, transportation, a DJ, and food for the night. The numbers do add up but overall it is a huge price for a one-night event,” junior Mia Zapata said.

Despite the fancy venues and vigorous planning, the reason for increased prom costs lies more in the events surrounding it. Due to current heavy inflation, the expenses of catering and transportation have grown drastically, with a total of around $24,000 on just those two factors alone, according to Fikis.

Taking a look at other local schools, prom tickets from Glenbard North, Saint Charles East, and South Elgin range from $75-80 per person, sharing the common trait of hosting at banquet halls and resorts while also offering varied dinner menus. The prom planners have considered cheaper venues for future years.

“When you go to a museum, it’s really hard to just then go to a venue,” Fikis said.

Recently, the Student Council conducted a school wide survey, which consisted of questions about the preference for locations and pricing, essentially questioning whether students prefer a more expensive prom that offers a late-night experience in Chicago museums (along with Coach bus transportation), or a cheaper ticket with a community address like a hotel or country club (where students would not be provided with rides).

“Personally, I am willing to spend my money on these two nights of our high school experience at a higher price. As a banquet hall and a museum would be ultimately two different prices, I think the overall experience will be much more unique and not necessarily the same as it would be at a banquet hall,” Zapata said.

Similarly, students agree that the exciting event makes up for the hefty price tag.

“I prefer the Science and Industry Museum because you get to just go to Chicago and it’s a fun experience,” senior Travis Frake said.

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