When local teens open the doors to the Field House Saturday night and enter the Wizard of Oz's Emerald City, you can be assured they'll be dressed to the hilt in the most up-to-date fashions on the market.
"It's just tradition," quipped senior Kayla Medley.
And that custom means going to any lengths to find just the right attire. Although there will be a few stranglers scrambling for a dress at the last minute, the majority started working on it months ago.
"I really liked the dress I got for Miss Sikeston and I wanted to wear it to the prom so I've known since the first of the year what I was going to wear," Medley said. "But I probably tried on at least 15 or 20 before I found that one. It took my mom and I a full day of shopping in St. Louis and then I saw it on the rack. I liked it and when I tried it on, it was perfect."
Now the only decision left for the 18-year-old to make is how to wear her hair.
Guys were lined up at Falkoff's Thursday afternoon, waiting their turn to be fitted for a tuxedo. Ben F. Marshall's wait was 45 minutes.
But Marshall, 18, admits the whole getting-ready-for-prom process, for the most part, isn't quite as complicated for the guys as it is the girls.
"I had to get a tux, order flowers (which my mom did about three weeks ago) and buy after prom tickets and breakfast tickets," he said. And of course he had to ask someone to go which he did about two weeks ago.
On the other hand, the girls are busy choosing accessories, matching shoes, have their nails and hair done, the latter of which Medley still has on her to-do list and finally, order a boutonniere for her date. It's an evening the parents who had to fork over the cash to pay for it all won't forget either.
But when it comes to dinner plans, both Medley and Marshall are doing something a little different in mind. Medley and a friend and their dates will eat at Medley's home where her dad will prepare steaks. Marshall and his date and three other couples are planning to dine before the prom at another friend's home.
"That's instead of having to make dinner reservations, get there, have to wait and then go to the prom," Medley explained. "And my dad's really excited about it."
Marshall says he's looking forward to the prom, but is especially excited about the after prom events. "I think most guys really like the after prom because you're back in your regular clothes and you're more comfortable. I've gone to the other proms though, and since this is my last one I think it will be fun."
Medley confesses Red Pepper dances are her favorite for various reasons such as being able to ask the guys rather than waiting around to be asked. But she says the prom is a sentimental event for most everyone.
"This is my last dance ever," said Medley. "It makes me realize it's going to be my last memory of high school and it makes me kind of sad."