Senior Prom to offer dinner, dancing to over-50 Manhattan population

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Many people might believe their only chance to attend prom is in high school. However, for Manhattan senior citizens, the opportunity comes every year.

Manhattan Parks and Recreation will be hosting their annual Senior Prom this Saturday. The event will feature a catered dinner by Friendship House of Wamego and dancing to live music performed by the Bobby Layne Orchestra.

“A lot of the folks who come are very good dancers, and they’ll dance the night away,” said Ginny Pape, recreation coordinator for Manhattan Parks and Recreation.

Senior Prom, which has been rocking the over-50 population of Manhattan since 2006, will be adding a new feature this year. In past events, the Prom King and Queen were nominated by dropping names into a box that were drawn at random to make the selection process fair. This year, they will be adding a Royal Court of Prom Princes and Princesses. This means more tiaras will be passed out and more people will be recognized at the event.

Although the event is geared toward the senior community, Pape said they started a tradition a few years ago of inviting young people from Manhattan High School to attend, especially young men. This is because elderly men tend to pass away sooner than women, so there is a need to have more dance partners, Pape said.

“It’s kind of hilarious, because the women can out-dance the (younger) men,” she said.

Pape said they would like to have more young dance partners for the senior members of the community.

“If someone asks you to dance, you must,” she said. “That’s the rule.”

Senior Prom takes place Saturday from 6-9 p.m. at the Houston Street Ballroom, 427 Houston St. Tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance from the Parks and Recreation Office at 1101 Fremont St. For more information, call 785-587-2757.

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