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A ‘Prom’inent night: Bemidji High School prom is tonight

Isaac Flaa, a senior at Bemidji High School, asked his friend Caitlyn Fleahman, to be his date for prom by filling her room with balloons. Submitted Photo1 / 2
Bemidji High School is just one of the area schools holding its annual prom this weekend. Above, Tracy Murphy of Fosston watches as her son, Jordan, is fitted for his tux Thursday afternoon by Steve Patterson, owner of Patterson Menswear in downtown Bemidji. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer2 / 2

BEMIDJI — An ordinary straight pin was taped to a blue slip of paper.

"You might need this," warned nearly 100 Post-it notes, arranged to spell out the message to Caitlyn Fleahman.

Fleahman, a senior at Bemidji High School, went upstairs to her bedroom.

"I opened the door and I found it filled, from top to bottom, in balloons," she recalled. "(My friends) start telling me to pop them, that there are notes inside and I have to find them all."

So she begins popping, one balloon at a time.

"Then, all of a sudden, Isaac (Flaa) jumps out (from underneath the balloons) and asks me if I’d go to prom with him," she said.

Kiah Ward, a BHS junior, found a fishbowl at her home, complete with actual living fish.

"Yeah, there were fish in it," Ward said, "which was kind of nice. My fish had died two weeks before."

Even better, there was a hand written request on the bowl, from her longtime friend Trevor Chastek: Out of all the fish in the sea, will you go to prom with me?

Both girls said yes.

"I knew he was going to ask me, but I had no idea when, or how, he would do it," Fleahman said.

Like most prom-goers, the girls and their dates will attend BHS’ prom today as part of a larger group.

Fleahman and Flaa — attending prom as friends —will first have dinner among a group of eight at the Bemidji Town & Country Club.

Ward and Chastek, who officially became a couple earlier this week, will be among a group of four. They will have dinner at Applebee’s and then head to the high school for the grand march.

The grand march, in the BHS auditorium, starts at 8 p.m. and the dance begins at 9 p.m. at the Sanford Center.

This will mark the second year prom is held at the event center.

"It makes it feel more special," said Brad Olson, a junior.

"It’s nice, getting away from the school," Ward agreed.

Olson and Ward, both members of the BHS student council, are among about 20 students on the prom committee, which chose this year’s Starry Night theme.

Prom is one of BHS’ two formal dances. The winter formal is held in December.

Olson, who is attending prom with his friend Kayla Hennum, said the timing works out well as the two events give students something to look forward to throughout the year.

"(Prom) is kind of the kick-off to summer," he said.