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'I'm Excited Prom 2021!': Chicago Seniors Celebrate A Fun Rite Of Passage At Soldier Field

CHICAGO (CBS) -- As COVID rules keep relaxing, on Friday a teenage rite of passage is making a big comeback.

It's prom night.

CBS 2's Marissa Parra reports from Soldier Field where a much different kind of dance is already underway. Most if not all of these seniors haven't seen each other since last March when they were juniors.

So Friday night is a farewell and a reunion at the same time.

"I'm excited. Prom 2021."

Brendan Mendez is suiting up to see classmates he hasn't seen in a year.

"I'm a little nervous. I don't know what to expect."

This is life for pandemic students. His whole last year of high school was spent in his living room. His hangouts with classmates on his computer.

"So excited to see my teachers as well," Mendez said. "I haven't seen a lot of my teachers since we've been remote this whole time."

Remote learning has been very hard, like so much in the last year. He thought the prom he'd been dreaming of for years would be canceled."

"Hearing 'we'll get back to you later' it felt defeating," Mendez said. "Because I thought I was never going to get an answer but look now."

And look he did at the surprise announcement in his inbox:

"They gave us a video in our emails that prom is going to be at Soldier Field."

As part of the senior council, he had a lot of planning to do.

"My suit, the corsages, how are we going to get there,  who is going to pick us up," Mendez wondered.

On top of classes and college applications, on top of his part time job, but worth the juggle.

"I've never been to Soldier Field," Mendez said. "Today is my first day. This year has been really challenging but we managed to get through it, so today we're going to have a good time and celebrate all that hard work we did."

Dances and proms for schools within the Noble Charter Network have been staggered since 2:00 in the afternoon Friday. Noble Street College Prep is here now. The last dance ends Saturday night at 10:00.

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