Leesburg’s annual festival may only be one day this year, but festival committee member Casey Macintosh told The Times-Gazette the festival weekend will include an additional event: a prom for Fairfield’s 2019-20 juniors and seniors.
The Leesburg community is hosting the prom at the community park near the firehouse on Friday, Aug. 7. At 6 p.m., students will participate in a grand march. The dance itself will be from 8-11 p.m.
Lineup for the grand march begins at 5:30 p.m. The firehouse is located at 200 South St.
Students are permitted to invite one guest each. Students should sign up their guests prior to the event. Guests should have been at least a freshman during the 2019-20 school year. Guests must be under 21 years of age.
The dress code for the prom is formal but flexible due to the heat.
The prom’s dance floor will be located on a basketball court, which will be covered to give students privacy. Macintosh said she and other organizers are planning to rent fans to keep students cool during the event.
When school events like prom were canceled due to COVID-19, Macintosh saw students’ disappointment firsthand.
“My son was a junior at Fairfield,” Macintosh said. “[When prom was canceled,] he was super disappointed. He was really excited because he’d asked a young lady to go to the prom. They’re really good friends, and he’d done a really cute prom-posal for her with a poster and balloons in front of their whole friend group. They’re both really shy, so it was something that was kind of out-of-character for him. He really stepped out of his shell in asking her to go. When everything moved the first time, it was like, ‘OK, it moved, but we’re still going to be able to do it.’ When everything canceled in full, he was just so deflated.”
Though the prom organizers did not have money dedicated to the prom, Macintosh said they’ve been able to create the event solely because of donations from the community. The festival committee was able to donate emcee services it had already paid for in preparation for the festival.
“There’s no reason not to utilize what we have and give these kids back a little bit of something, even if it can’t be exactly the same,” Macintosh said.
Island Brothers will deejay the event, and Macintosh said they are going “above and beyond” for it.
Students and their guests will have access to bathroom facilities located in the firehouse’s community room during the event. Refreshments will also be available.
Students may purchase tickets for the event online in the days leading up to the event. They can also purchase tickets on the day of the event until the gates close at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $15 per individual or $25 per couple. Prom organizers will use funds raised through ticket sales to purchase additional items for the event.
For more information, to purchase tickets and to sign waiver forms, visit the Leesburg Festival’s Facebook page, which can also be found by searching “@LeesburgOHFestival.”
As of Wednesday, Macintosh said organizers still need photography services and monetary donations to purchase items for the event’s giveaway and to rent fans.
Anyone who would like to donate money, time or services should message the Leesburg Festival’s Facebook page or contact Macintosh at 937-763-2705.
The Leesburg festival will also be held near the firehouse on Saturday, Aug. 8 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Leesburg festival will include Best Burger in the ‘Burg” Grilling Contest, Pictures with a Princess, a bicycle parade, Fire Department Water SPRAY, and the NEON Block Party.
Various food vendors will have food available for purchase.
Vendors who would like to participate in the festival — especially those with non-food items and activities for kids — should reach out through the Leesburg Festival’s Facebook page.
Macintosh said the festival committee felt it was important to hold the event, if only for one day, as so many similar local events have been canceled.
“I think the comment was, ‘It feels like everything was canceled — not just festivals. It feels like life has been canceled the last four months. I just want to do something, I just want to go somewhere, I just want to have something to go do, I want to be able to see people — even if you have to stand six feet away from them. I’m tired of just talking on the phone or looking on the computer — I want to see somebody in person,’” Macintosh said.
Macintosh added that the festival will be held outside, and festival-goers will have plenty of room to practice social distancing.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.