Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

2012 Pasco Anti-Prom will have 'retro chic' beat at Land O'Lakes Library

Imagine a prom event where the kids wear everything from T-shirts and jeans to formal finery, no one needs a date and everyone can have a good time — even if they're outside the "in crowd."

The fifth annual Anti-Prom, sponsored by the Friends of the Land O'Lakes Library and organized by the library's Teen Advisory Board, will be held Friday evening at the Land O'Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway. And although this year's event has a "retro chic" theme that incorporates music and decorations from the 1960s and 1980s, guests do not have to dress according to these themes at this free event, which draws 100 to 160 Pasco students each year.

"They can attend in jeans if they want to," said Paul Stonebridge, teen services manager of the Pasco County Library System. "That's the whole point — here they do what they want."

The first event was held in 2008 as an alternative to the conventional high school prom, which can carry a hefty price tag.

"That was at the beginning of the economic downturn, and kids were telling us the prom was too expensive," he said. "Everyone was unhappy, so we decided to make our own dance."

As the concept developed, Stonebridge and members of the Teen Advisory Board found other ways to differentiate the Anti-Prom from more traditional student dances, including the introduction of unique themes such as the Zombie Anti-Prom and the Haunted Masquerade. And every year, an Anti-Prom King and Anti-Prom Queen are crowned.

"We all agreed that, at the prom, they play stupid music and the girls have to wear dresses," Stonebridge said. "At the Anti-Prom we have free cookies, plus punch spiked with Monster energy drink. And kids can bring their own music."

Also coordinating this year's Anti-Prom dance is Mandy Bacon, president of the Land O'Lakes Library Teen Advisory Board. The junior at Sunlake High School first became involved in the advisory board after attending the Anti-Valentine's Day dance at the Land O'Lakes branch three years ago.

"The first time that I met Paul Stonebridge, he approached a decoration table set up at the dance that featured a pink paper heart," said Bacon. "He said, 'Wait, this isn't right,' and tore the heart in half. That's when I knew that I was in the right place."

Bacon, 16, said the "anti" events are ideal for students who may not feel comfortable at typical teen social events.

"The Anti-Prom is for kids who feel ostracized at school, and who don't fit in at the prom," she said. "Maybe they feel bad if they can't find a date. Here they can come and hang out, even if they don't have any money. It's really fun."

This year's Anti-Prom will feature music from a live DJ and a new sound system made possible through a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Florida Department of State Division of Library and Information Services (the music won't bother quiet-seeking patrons, as the library is otherwise closed at this hour).

There will be free snacks, picture-taking opportunities and a disco ball pinata. For a $5 charge, the teens can access a special room where they can eat pizza, play video games and get cans of energy drink.

All proceeds go to the Friends of the Land O'Lakes Library, who will put the money back into library programs.

"We want library events to be a community experience," said Stonebridge. "We offer many services and many different experiences. It's not just about books."

If you go

What: Anti-Prom, an alternative prom event open to all high school students in Pasco County

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday

Where: Land O'Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway

Cost: Admission is free; access to a special room with pizza and Monster energy drinks is $5. For information, call the Land O'Lakes Library at (813) 929-1214.

2012 Pasco Anti-Prom will have 'retro chic' beat at Land O'Lakes Library 05/15/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Carlton: A moment of sanity when citizens finally said no


    If you were looking for some small sign of sanity in the world, here's one courtesy of the people of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

    The Confederate memorial statue outside the old Hillsborough courthouse is now boxed up in plywood to prevent vandalism. Private donors have ponied up money to have the statue relocated to a cemetery. [JIM DAMASKE  |  Times]
  2. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  3. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police


    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee:

  4. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot


    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of
  5. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.