Students became stars at Eastport-South Manor Junior-Senior High School Tuesday night, taking to the red carpet for a grand entrance to the senior prom with theme of "The Great Gatsby."
The 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald novel about glitzy Gold Coast life has been brought to younger audiences through last year’s film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
"We picked this theme in September, and I kind of had a vision," said class adviser and art teacher Gregory Barbera.
Barbera said he hopes the inaugural red carpet event marks the beginning of a tradition, and noted none of it would have been possible without the help of the community. Families and businesses made the event come to life, donating hors d'oeuvres and even vintage cars to help bring Barbera's vision to life.
The theme also inspired many students' fashion decisions for the evening, with some young men choosing white suits and canes, and some young women glittering from head to toe.
"I've never really heard of anyone doing a Gatsby theme before," said Eastport’s Brittany Little, 18, wearing a pale, sparkly gown. "So I picked my dress for Gatsby."
Class president Vanessa Amendola said “The Great Gatsby” was an exciting theme to incorporate into the night's events, which started with the red carpet and finished at The Suffolk Theater in Riverhead.
"Once someone said Gatsby, everyone hopped on board and ideas kept flowing," said Amendola, 18, of Manorville. "Mr. Barbera has an amazing imagination, and the theater has such a Gatsby feel. It's perfect for the theme."
With hundreds of guests present at Tuesday's pre-prom, classic cars and classic fashion, Barbera couldn’t help getting a little emotional over the event’s success.
"Literally, I could start crying right now," said Barbera as he watched students walk the red carpet.