Fast forward to 6:30 p.m. and our collective curiosity and thirst for small town immersion found my entire family unit here...
Amid the wonder and excited chaos that was this particular gathering of townsfolk, I was able to disseminate the purpose, history, and etiquette of this small town custom.
Whether you call it an attempt for a last second tug of parental control, or a lavish slathering of attention for the Juniors and Seniors about to embark on their prom, this red-carpetish ritual was both charming and blog-fodder rolled into one..
It goes something like this...
The prom attendees pull up to the entrance of the prom location (in this instance, the recently completed and ultra modern local middle school) in their shiny cars and trucks, the bulk of which I suspect were either borrowed, rented by a 25-year old cousin, or on an extended "test-drive" from a local dealership.
The rico suave prom men have a prepared card containing the names of their dates and themselves printed on it, which they hand to the dude with the mic (me thinks he's the HS principal, but I could be wrong), who subsequently announces the names of the nattily attired attendees all the while welcoming them to their prom.
From there, the valet at the front of a long line of valets in matching white polo shirts, hands the driver a ticket and hurries off to park the recently vacated prom delivery chariot to a nearby parking lot. The valet's are all volunteers, many of which are parents of the lucky prom attendees.
Amid much applause, cheers, catcalls, whistles, whoops and hollers, the formally dressed prom night teens make their way through the throngs of smiling parents, friends, acquaintances and relatives, only to complete their pre-prom gauntlet at the front glass doors of the middle school.
This rotating routine of arrival continued until the final couple disappeared behind the smoked glass doors to the inner sanctum of the social event, the digital cameras were all shut down, and the parking lot cleared as the festive partygoers inside were getting busy.
My informally twisted tally of the 45+ minutes of small town pre-prom fun-ness...
Number of stallouts by Valet Dad's as they pulled away, driving some kid's souped up car - 1
Ratio of cars to pickups driven by arriving prom attendees - 2.5:1
Percentage of couples who were color coordinated in their formal attire - 75%
Percentage of attendees who came stag - 15%
Number of prom boys who came with more than one prom girl - 3
Most number of couples who emerged from an extended cab pickup truck - 3
Most popular fashion accessories for prom boys - color coordinated Swinging Vegas-y Ocean's 11 (the remake) style sunglasses and backward trucker caps
Ratio of bubble skirts to all other types of dresses - 2:1
Number of combines, tractors, horse drawn wagons and other more rural forms of transportation used in this years drop off - 0 (Note - I was told in previous years, all of the previously mentioned arrival methods were used and much the crowd pleaser.
No, not the Corvette. That thing behind it...
Can't go much better than a motor home with a set of bovine horns on the front grill.