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Adult prom allows revelers to relive the best years of their lives

Nathan Baker • Jul 16, 2017 at 6:04 PM

Did you ever think it would be nice to relive those awkward teenage years, where your body and hormones had most of the control over your mind and much more important than that C in Mrs. Denny’s English class was who would settle for your company at the prom?

No, me neither, but apparently plenty of other people did, and they’re throwing their own prom. As adults.

The region’s first ever adult prom will be held at 8 p.m. July 28 at Johnson City’s Holiday Inn, 101 Springbrook Drive, and organizer Brandan Watts said tickets are as hot as that 1985 Camaro you owned during your sophomore year in high school.

“It’s just like when you were in high school and went to the prom, the exact same format, except it’s for adults 18 and up — a lot of older people are coming out for it,” Watts said Wednesday. “My thought process on it was so many people out there aren’t with the same person they went to prom with, so this is a chance to experience that memory with a loved one now.”

Unlike the darkened, sweaty gym that returns in your nightmares every few months to fill up your regret gauge with thoughts of how different your life would be now if you’d kissed Betty Sue when she leaned in instead of mumbling something about the stomach flu and running off into the night, the adult prom will have a cash bar.

Watts said it will also have finger foods, a playlist spanning decades of hits and even a prom king and queen. Because most of the people at the prom will be total strangers, the court will be chosen based on the best dressed (black tie only).

The team at Legacy Nightlife, a local events promotion company Watts formed with friends, are planning and throwing the adult prom. It’s unclear who will serve on the adult yearbook committee or whether your “Best Smile” superlative still holds any weight. It probably doesn’t.

Tickets are $27 for those single people going stag to “keep their options open,” or $45 per couple. If you need to brush up on your fancy footwork, the ticket price includes a dance lesson at 7 p.m. by the Johnson City Ballroom Dancers. Plus, each ticket holder gets an adult prom photo to remember how misguided your hairstyle was 20 years from now.

The event is RSVP only, and Watts said about three-quarters of the tickets are already sold, so buy first, then plan your promposal (people born before 1995 may have to look that one up on the Google).

Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House.

The prom has been so successful that Watts said he’s already planning next year’s prom and will likely throw a winter formal later this year with similar themes.

He said he’s heard some of the attendees are really getting into the idea, and have rented limousines and will be dressed to the nines.

“This is the most personable event we’ve done,” he said about Legacy Nightlife. “All this is strictly for the memories, and we hope everyone goes home with good ones.”

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