Resplendently Attired Teens Impact Economy With Prom

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Saturday evening, the wooden floor of the Pine Cultural Center will bear the soles of many shoes as couples take to the floor to dance at the Payson High School Junior-Senior Prom.

Add up prom tickets, $30 per couple, $20 single, fancy duds and resplendent dresses, a meal out and a shared, round-trip limo ride. Payson teens have spent an economic stimulus payment, most won't even receive, on the once, perhaps twice-in-a-lifetime evening.

Approximately 160 seniors will graduate PHS this year. If, between seniors and juniors, 200 students attend the April 19 gala, they may have spent a tidy $20,000 to $30,000.

Meanwhile, local florists have been busy with flower orders and tuxedo rentals. Girls have been shopping for dresses. Restaurants are taking reservations.

Debbee McDonald, owner of Finishing Touch Flowers and Gifts, has been busy all week measuring young men for tuxedos.

"A lot of times, the girls will come in with their guys and order a suit and flowers together," McDonald said.

That way they can coordinate the tuxedo vest to go with the girl's dress and custom, "no-two-alike" corsages to match.

Wristlets are what most of the girls want. The twining vine, a corsage that goes up the arm, is popular in McDonald's shop.

McDonald has also arranged flowers to adorn ankles, necks, shoes and purses.

Payson does boast a couple of fancy dress up boutiques, so theoretically, the teens could shop locally.

"What teens are buying is not floor-length traditional dresses but cocktail dresses with a full little skirt," Chrisy Wickstrom of Chrisy's Cottage said.

Prom night generally includes dinner out.

"This past year we had three tables of eight, two on the patio we put the heaters on for and three or four two-tops in the dining room," Rick Stockman, owner of Fargo's Steak House said.

Two groups of students will take the 20-minute ride to the Cultural Hall in Touch of Class Limousine service.

"A Walk to Remember" is the theme of Payson High School's Junior-Senior Prom, April 19.

The theme adds to the fun, but, "just the fact that it's prom and everyone gets dressed up and being with everyone makes it special," junior class president Baylie MacRae said.

The prom would not happen without sweat-equity.

Friday evening and Saturday morning pre-festivities, Baylie MacRae, Kyla Carey and Amanda Parker will be turning the hall into a wonderland with balloons and decorations.

"The junior class always puts prom on for the seniors. We are going to get everybody we can to come and help us decorate," MacRae said.

There will be shuttle service for prom. The shuttle will depart from the Wilson Dome parking lot at 8 p.m. and will return to dome parking lot after the dance.

Prom queen and king nominations closed April 11.

Jessie Carpino, Hannah Armenta, Jeslyn Davis and Aubrey Laird are the four contenders to wear the queen's crown.

Scott Andrus, Mark McCarty and Anthony Pearce might be voted prom king by the dancers.

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