BEMIDJI -- At first glance, the beginnings of Friday night’s "Non-Prom" event looked like students getting ready for a typical school dance.

Couples arrived in vehicles, then tried to pin boutonnieres on dates without sticking them -- but then, just as soon as they had arrived, the participants turned around, got back in their vehicles and went home.

Around 40 area students embraced the opportunity to wear something other than sweatpants on Friday evening when they participated in the event hosted by local businesses.

While many students wore formal attire, some got a bit creative -- one couple arrived in colorful wrestling masks and capes.

Amy Nelson guides two prom-goers dressed as wrestlers toward the food pick-up station during the Non-Prom event on Friday. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)
Amy Nelson guides two prom-goers dressed as wrestlers toward the food pick-up station during the Non-Prom event on Friday. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)

Students arrived at the Netzer’s Floral parking lot where they picked up corsages and flowers, goodie bags, and a meal from Minnesota Nice Cafe. They were then ushered over to the photo backdrop, where many students posed with their dates -- often spreading their hands to show the distance between them.

Halle Solien and Silas Hess pose together outside of Netzer's Floral for a six-feet-apart prom photo before heading home from the Zoom dance. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)
Halle Solien and Silas Hess pose together outside of Netzer's Floral for a six-feet-apart prom photo before heading home from the Zoom dance. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)

The teens then again went their separate ways, home to dance by themselves. Each participant was given a code to login into a virtual Zoom dance hosted by DJ Gunnar Aas of Big Muddy Music.