A night spent making overpriced memories

Diamond Bar High School Homecomings are infamous for provocative dancing and unreasonably high ticket prices. That this year’s dance was not an anomaly made my first Homecoming experience memorable for the wrong reasons.

 Despite the bad venue and overpriced tickets, my homecoming experience was still fun thanks to the people I spent my time with. 

It was past 7:30 pm when my group arrived at The Hangar at the OC Fair and Event Center. I immediately noticed music blasting from the venue and the long line of students waiting to be admitted. Thankfully, we stood in line for less than ten minutes.

Because the building was essentially one massive room, the interior felt rather bland. The center of the venue was dominated by a decently sized dance floor, where a crowd of people stood waiting for the mosh pit to begin. Tables crowded with an array of cookies, chocolate-dipped strawberries and other sweets surrounded both sides of the dance floor. The outdoors porch area featured an air hockey, ping-pong and pool table. Photo booths and a flipbook station were also available on different ends of the room. 

Throughout the night I couldn’t help but notice all the empty space in the venue. Most of the students were clustered towards the center, leaving a deserted area all around the dance floor. The concert hall took up most of the space on the premises, so there was little space outdoors for non-dancing activities.

 Many of my friends also complained that there weren’t any aesthetic settings to take pictures, especially compared to previous dances. While ticket prices this year reached an all-time high, the activities and food were underwhelming as the deserts were basic and tasted artificial. If anything, last year’s dance, which cost $65 put this particular Homecoming to shame, as it had unique features such as carriage rides and restaurant catering.

 The $75 I paid didn’t justify two photo stations and three game tables.  Most of the night, it seemed like we were dancing in a stranger’s garage, with only lights and music to indicate that it was supposed to be a dance. 

The only aspect that added any value to my night was dancing. While the lasers and overpowering music bordered on the tacky side, it didn’t feel too over the top. For the most part, the DJ consistently played solid tracks, such as songs by the rapper YG, that had the crowd energized and on their feet. 

Many songs were mainstream pop but old school party jams were also mixed into the playlist, catering to many students’ different tastes. Here and there, however, were questionable song choices that didn’t match the dance’s mood at all such as “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande. 

Overall, I was satisfied that  I was able to experience Homecoming at least once in high school. Should next year’s dance have similarly high prices or a bad venue, however, I would seriously consider going to “anti-Homecoming” with friends instead.