‘Night to Shine’ special needs prom continues with COVID precautions

Kings and Queens to be welcomed with drive-thru red carpet Friday

Photos from Night to Shine event
Photos from Night to Shine event (News4Jax.com)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The annual Night to Shine prom for people in Jacksonville with special needs took place Friday afternoon with new safety precautions.

Jacksonville-native Tim Tebow started the event in 2015. Since then, it’s fanned out across the globe, with hundreds of thousands of VIP guests and volunteers.

While the pandemic has made many of the proms virtual, the Jacksonville committee is continuing the tradition with an in-person, drive-thru red carpet Friday afternoon. Masks are required.

GALLERY: Photos from Night to Shine event

This year’s event was held at Florida State College at Jacksonville’s South Campus on Beach Boulevard. Guests were given gift bags with crowns, thanks to donations.

News4Jax anchor and reporter Vic Micolucci returned to host the red carpet party for a fourth time, alongside city of Jacksonville director of public affairs Nikki Kimbleton. First responders from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department also had a surprise display.

“This year looks a little different, but the collaboration has come up with an experience to keep guests safe and still make all the guests or kings and queens of Night To Shine feel loved and valued,” said Jessica Harrison, an organizer with the Church of Eleven22. “Guests will also be able to experience a ‘Shine-thru’ and drive the red carpet before going home to enjoy Night to Shine virtually.”

Event coordinators determined there were 244 guests at the annual prom and approximately 600 volunteers helped put it altogether. That includes help from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and PRI Productions.