By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With snow on the way, several high schools around the Twin Cities will have to make big decisions about prom.

At Forest Lake High School, more than 600 students are planning to drive about 30 miles to their prom at the Landmark Center in St. Paul, but the pending snowstorm has forced school officials into a tough decision about whether to postpone.

“My date was going to go get his tux last night but I told him maybe you should hold off one more day,” said junior Holly Sauve.

The prom theme for Forest Lake is “Under the Northern Lights,” and it’s possible it could happen under a foot of snow.

“A lot of driving would be an issue too. Especially with people in prom busses because you can’t reschedule that,” said Mikayla Whitehill, a member of the prom committee.

For Holly and Mikayla and other high school students, it really comes down to cost. Every promgoer pays $40 for a ticket — not to mention everything else they have to rent and buy, from dresses and tuxes, to transportation, pictures and flowers.

It’s not unusual for a student to spend up to $500 on prom, and much of that is nonrefundable.

“When you have 600 kids, that’s a big decision,” said principal Jim Caldwell.

Caldwell is in his first full year as principal at Forest Lake High School and Mother Nature has thrown him a curveball. He said a decision to postpone prom is actually harder than canceling school.

“That’s a lot of kids that we are potentially putting on the roads with buses and cars going down to the Landmark Center in St. Paul. Who would have ever thought we’d be sitting here talking about postponing a prom in the middle of April,” said Caldwell.

By the afternoon, school leaders had decided to that prom will go on as planned, but parents can decide to keep their children at home.

“You know what? We’ve never run into this before,” said Darla Tuil.

It wasn’t just students waiting on the decision — Tuil and her team at Forest Lake Floral has 200 orders of corsages and boutonnieres on the line. If prom had been postponed, they would have lost more than $3,000 worth of flowers. Now, they’re ready to get to work.

John Lauritsen