More than 1,000 tickets sold for Saturday, Oct. 16, Homecoming ‘Beauty and the Beast’-themed outdoor dance; shatters previous 2016 record of sales for a social

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Rebekah Kim

Associated Student Body [ASB] community affairs commissioner senior Madeline Liu greets the less than 1,000 crowd in the gym during the Friday, Oct. 15, homecoming assembly. Liu was dressed as Mrs. Potts in keeping with the Oct. 16 homecoming dance theme related to Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” This was also the first time Sunny Hills ASB organized a triple assembly schedule to meet state COVID-19 guidelines restricting school indoor events to no more than 1,000 in the audience.

Kristima Aryal

The first Sunny Hills dance since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020 has attracted a record shattering number of students even though the Saturday, Oct. 16, “Beauty and the Beast”-themed event will be held outdoors, and guests aren’t allowed to attend, Associated Student Body [ASB] members said.

“This is the most tickets sold for any dance since we’ve been in ASB,” co-ASB adviser Mike Paris wrote in a Friday, Oct. 16, email. “2019 homecoming sold 850 tickets, and we had a stag dance in 2016 that was over 900.”

The record-breaking figures for this dance is also startling in that many of the past campus social activities pre-COVID-19 were held indoors in the gym, while attendees were allowed to invite guests from outside the school.

For the Oct. 16 homecoming dance, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District has banned guest permits because of COVID-19 health and safety concerns.

Some say the heightened increase for this upcoming event is related to the reopening of live campus instruction after a year and a half of distance learning because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s the first dance in two years, and students are really excited,” ASB social commissioner Micah Desai said. “ASB has been doing everything we can to promote the dance as much as possible, and our efforts have shown through with the number of tickets sold.”

The outdoor dance will comply with the current Orange County COVID-19 gathering guidelines which does not require attendees to wear masks while outside; ASB members said they will, however, still encourage all to wear masks. 

Despite the recent California Department of Education guidelines restricting the number of people for an indoor campus event to no more than 1,000, the ASB hopes to impress attendees with outdoor activities such as a DJ dance area, refreshments, photo booth and an arcade.

Currently, the ASB plans to have the arcade games inside the Lyceum, while the photo booth will be outside the building, and refreshments from Porto’s will be served near the 60s building. 

The DJ dance area will be set up in the center of the quad similar to the 2017 homecoming dance that had to be held outside because the gym was closed for modernization and students will not be permitted to walk around the ..rest of the campus as the dance is strictly restricted to the Lyceum and the quad, Desai said.

“We’ve had to make a lot of changes especially pertaining to food, but we went into planning the dance preparing for the worst, and we’ve been trying to make the best of our situation,” she said. “We really pulled through with decorations and activities.”

Even with the sudden change of venue from indoors to outdoors, several students said they don’t mind enjoying themselves in the quad, especially since temperatures at night aren’t expected to be as cold as in the winter season. 

“It’s better to be outside so there is lots of air circulation,” said junior Bryce Liva, who will be attending to experience the homecoming dance for the first time. “The ASB is doing their best to keep everything as safe as possible, and I am looking forward to having a good time with friends.” 

Freshman Christine Yoo agrees with Liva’s sentiment. 

“I finally get to experience a cliche high school experience and I’m just so excited to be able to go even with everything going on,” Yoo said. 

According to an infographic posted on the ASB Instagram account, students must check in at Room 80 from 8-9 p.m. using their school ID cards, and tickets will be available on the SH Webstore until noon on the day of the dance.

The state health mandate for how many can attend an indoor event shifted the traditional homecoming assembly as well, causing the administration to implement a triple second period schedule for the first time in SH history. 

Assistant principal Hilda Arredondo sent an all-staff email Oct. 5 to announce the change, which made each second period lasting 35 minutes with three rotating groups of approximately 850 students attending an assembly at a time. 

“The ASB has been preparing since June, and we’ve had to adjust to changing circumstances, rules and such, but it seems like students are still really excited about [the events],” Paris said. 

The assembly featured performances from the Pep Squad and Dance Production along with a traditional video introducing members of the homecoming court. 

I’m hoping that everyone will be pleasantly surprised by [the dance and assembly] we have been able to put together,” Desai said.

The Homecoming queen will be announced at the Oct. 15 football game at half-time.