Prom season postponement a disappointment for businesses, students

Coronavirus

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The postponed prom season is putting extra strain on all sorts of Central New York businesses, most obviously small dress and formal wear shops.

While the end of the 2020 school year has been stressful for students, shops like Bliss Bridal and Formal Wear in Baldwinsville are also facing hard times.

“My busiest time of year is March and April and I haven’t been able to utilize either of those months this year, unfortunately,” said Bliss owner Gina Bush.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Bush to close up shop around mid-March, which left her showroom full of dresses but not customers.

“It’s a little nerve wracking, just we’re not sure how long this is going to last,” Bush said.

While she typically orders dresses almost a year in advance, the deliveries don’t arrive until December or January, before anyone knew what was coming. Customers who preordered dresses have been able to pick them up but Bush says she understands its a delicate balance.

With most proms postponed or cancelled, not every student will need the dress they purchased.

“You know I have been asked if I could do store credit for next year but the store has a no return policy,” Bush said, adding, “It’s hard I want to help everyone for sure but I also have to keep the business afloat.”

For Baldwinsville junior Catherine Thompson who got her red sequin dress from Bliss, prom was supposed to be a dream night.

“It all happened so fast,” Thompson said. “When the governor said we’d be closed until May 15, I thought, that’ll be enough time for things to get back to normal. Nope.”

Thompson attends Charles W. Baker High School which, like most schools, has postponed both their junior prom and senior ball.

“I’ve just been trying to keep my head up and have hope that senior ball and junior prom will be rescheduled,” said Thompson.

She knows, unlike the senior class, juniors are fortunate and will hopefully get their chance to celebrate next year, that is if the district doesn’t reschedule.

So, for now, Thompson’s dress is ready and waiting. More than anything she just wants to see her friends.

The Baldwinsville Central School District tells NewsChannel 9 that Baker High School plans to prioritize senior ball rescheduling first and will update students and families when things are finalized.

Onondaga County has still not given the ‘okay’ for large school gatherings to take place.


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For more local news, follow Rob Hackford on Twitter @Robert_Hackford.

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