HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Every Thursday 91-year-old Victor Morales brings his guitar to the Town ‘N Country Senior Center.
“I’ve got a group,” he said. “A pianist, a drummer and singer. We play and the people here dance and have a good time.”
On Saturday night, Morales put on his tuxedo for Hillsborough County’s first senior prom since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hillsborough County senior centers had to shut down back in March 2020 and did not reopen until last year.
“I was dying when they shut it down because of the COVID,” Morales said.
After a sit-down dinner, the 160 seniors danced the night away.
“This is our first time together like this so we missed it,” Prom King John McDonald said. “This is a joyous time for us to be together and see each other again.”
During the senior prom court ceremony, McDonald from the Progress Village Senior Center held on to the title of Prom King that he’s had since 2019.
“I am surprised and blessed by it cause never thought, I wasn’t supposed to be here but my other partner got sick and I took his place,” McDonald said.
But there is a new senior Prom Queen in Hillsborough County, Darlene Harris, from the River Pines Senior Dining and Activity Center.
“Surprised, very surprised,” she said. “I don’t know what to say.”
Morales said he is already looking forward to next year’s senior prom.
“Do you think they need a bigger ballroom?” News Channel 8 asked him.
“Oh of course,” he said. “That’s a lot of people now coming in.”
In past years, Hillsborough County’s Department of Aging Services has hosted senior prom in a ballroom that accommodates 600 people.
Organizers said next year they hope to return to a bigger venue.