A taste of normal: Life goes on with Grove City prom, drive-in theater event balloons

TANNER MONDOK | HeraldSam Norris and Becca Santom, both 17, pose for a photo during a grand march Saturday at the Guthrie Theatre in Grove City prior to a prom organized by eight Grove City High School students’ moms. The event attracted 177 students.

After more than three months of cancellations, postponements and pandemic-related sheltering at home, people in some parts of Mercer County kicked up their heels — figuratively and literally — Saturday night.

A taste of normal: Life goes on with Grove City prom, drive-in theater event

TANNER MONDOK | Herald Grove City High School students gather at the American Legion Saturday for a prom organized by seven student’s moms. 177 students attended the prom and organizers made masks and hand sanitizer available with social distancing being encouraged.

With high school students being denied traditional rites of passage like proms and graduation ceremonies, Grove City Area School District and its residents took steps this week to restore some of what COVID-19 took away. On Thursday, the school district held a dual commencement, with the graduating class divided into two groups to maintain social distancing.

A taste of normal: Life goes on with Grove City prom, drive-in theater event ice cream

TANNER MONDOK | HeraldPeople wait in line for ice cream at a McCullough’s Ice Cream food truck Saturday at the Reynolds Drive-in as Juvenile Characteristics prepares to perform on the stage in front of the movie screen.

On Saturday, in an event organized by eight student mothers, Grove City-area students got to enjoy a prom that began with a grand march at the Guthrie Theater in Grove City and a traditional dinner followed by dancing at the American Legion in Pine Township.

A taste of normal: Life goes on with Grove City prom, drive-in theater event daytime

TANNER MONDOK | Herald Ruby performs at the Reynolds Drive-in Saturday to a crowd of hundreds in their cars, trunks or lawn chairs in front of the stage.

Masks and hand sanitizer were available at the door, and organizers encouraged social distancing.

A taste of normal: Life goes on with Grove City prom, drive-in theater event singer

TANNER MONDOK | HeraldVocalist Kris Chapman of the local band Juvenile Characteristics sings and sways at the Reynolds Drive-in Saturday to a crowd of hundreds in their cars, trunks or lawn chairs in front of the stage.

Across the county, along Route 18 in Transfer, the Reynolds Drive-In, closed for six years, marked its grand reopening Saturday night with concerts by Ruby and local band Juvenile Characteristics.

The Fiedler family of Transfer purchased the drive-in and performed extensive repairs so the Juvenile Characteristics’ performance could be projected onto the movie screen.

A taste of normal: Life goes on with Grove City prom, drive-in theater event food

TANNER MONDOK | HeraldShelby Lanciotti, co-owner of the Greenville Junction restaurant, serves customers Saturday at the Reynolds Drive-in.

A taste of normal: Life goes on with Grove City prom, drive-in theater event viewers

TANNER MONDOK | Herald People watch as Ruby performs at the Reynolds Drive-in Saturday.

A taste of normal: Life goes on with Grove City prom, drive-in theater event dance

TANNER MONDOK | HeraldGrove City High School students dance at the American Legion in Pine Township Saturday during a prom organized by seven students’ moms.

Hundreds of people turned out to see the musical performers, both up close and from a distance while social distancing. While the drive-in’s concession stand has not yet been fully renovated, food trucks from the Melt Down grilled cheese sandwich restaurant, Greenville Junction BBQ, Haitian Sensations, McCullough’s Ice Cream, Webb Winery and Grist House craft brewery provided refreshments.

A taste of normal: Life goes on with Grove City prom, drive-in theater event booth

TANNER MONDOK | HeraldTessa Stewart, 17 and Mary Coulter, 17, pose in a photo booth during a prom at the American Legion in Grove City Saturday for a prom organized by seven student’s moms. 177 students attended the prom and organizers made masks and hand sanitizer available with social distancing being encouraged.

The Fiedlers plan to host more entertainment events at the drive-in, including a flea market held on Sunday.