Hundreds of high school students showed up to their prom Saturday evening only to receive a disappointing piece of news: the event had actually been scheduled for next Saturday.
Bloomington High School in Bloomington, Calif. had publicized the event with ornate invitations that clearly set the prom date: April 27 at Santa Anita Park. But when student Selena Reyes showed up, venue workers told her and other high schoolers that they had gotten the date wrong. Reyes thought they were pulling her leg.
"We thought it was a joke, OK, that's not funny," said Reyes to ABC Los Angeles. "When we get there, they tell us that we have to come back home and come back next weekend."
Unfortunately it wasn't a prank. Deluged by all the prom attendees, the park eventually decided to make do and opened up an extra hall for the event. But of course, the last-minute party (which apparently consisted of cold chicken strips instead of dinner and a laptop playlist to sub as a DJ) was a major disappointment for senior students who had been looking forward to the event all year.
Principal Ignacio Cabrera, a 13-year veteran of Bloomington High, shouldered the responsibility for the blunder, reports ABC Los Angeles. To make up for the mistake, the school is planning a second prom in May that will be simpler and closer to home (Santa Anita Park is over 40 miles away from the high school). But event organizers are going to have to overcome a lot of anger from students and parents who have already spent the money they were saving to make prom a special night.
"You can't make up for it," said student Marcus Vargas to ABC Los Angeles. "Everybody paid for that date to be all super fancied-up, and they paid for party buses and limos and things like that. I don't know -- they're going to have to do something pretty amazing to make up for that."
The American Prom Industry is valued at around $4 billion, and prom spending is up across the country this year. For families planning to spend money on the event, the average cost is expected to reach $1,139, according to the 2013 Visa prom survey. The Visa survey also found that families from lower income brackets (less than $50,000 a year) actually planned to spend even more than that -- an average of $1,245.