By Katy Savage, Standard Staff
HARTLAND — Bettina Read likes to dress up. She and her family dress up at home to watch the Kentucky Derby, the premiere of “Downtown Abbey” and the Academy Awards. They dress up for a formal Christmas Eve Dinner, even if they’re just by themselves.
“Even though we’re just sitting in our living room it’s just fun for us,” she said.
Soon, she’ll be able to wear her dancing shoes out of the house. Hartland is having its first ever prom — open to all ages, March 8 at Damon Hall from 7-11 p.m.
Proceeds will benefit the Hartland First Universalist Society.
“People always talk about ‘Oh I still have my prom dress, well let’s bring them out,’” Katy Sawyer, the co-organizer said.
For some, it’s a chance to re-live their high school proms and a chance for pre-teens to get an early taste of what it might be like.
Kim Gibbs’ last prom was in the 1980s in Lebanon, N.H. She wore a gunny sack and there was ’80s music playing in the background.
“I don’t remember the last time I put a gown-type dress on, I’m a little bit nervous about it,” she said.
Gibbs, 48, is going to wear a long, deep navy dress while her husband is going to rent a light blue tuxedo with ruffles.
Her daughter, 12, is also going to dress up.
“The three of us are looking forward to going and enjoying the company of our community,” she said.
She’s going to get a spray tan but will do her own hair.
“I hope they play some ’80s music,” she said. “A little Guns N’ Roses never hurt anybody.”
She said she’s going to have fun with it.
“Who gets to dress up anymore?” she said.
The organizers are encouraging everybody to attend to attend; regardless of how they dressed up they want to see it.
“We have been encouraging people to not get hung up on the prom idea,” co-organizer Sara Morin said. “If they want to wear something fancy, great. If not they could wear whatever they’re comfortable in.”
A Facebook page has been created where attendees have posted pictures of their proms, where people have posted photos and memories from their prom decades ago.
Read still remembers her high school prom 30 years ago. She wore a cotton crème colored gunny sack. It had a rose pattern and was high-necked.
“If I looked at it now, I would say it was very ugly,” she said.
She remembers there was a sailboat in the middle of their gym for the sailing theme of the prom.
“It was fun to dress up back then too,” she said.
Read’s daughter, 11, is also going.
“This is sort of pre prom-practice for her,” she said.
They plan to get her hair done at Rutland Hair Express and will buy corsages in Windsor.
Tickets are sold at the door for $10 per person and no more than $25 per family. Hartland’s prom will have no theme but here will also be prizes that include tickets to the Hopkins Center For the Arts and gift baskets.
Read bought her dress — a royal blue second hand gown in White River Junction last week.
“I was really excited because it’s been a longtime since I’ve been to prom,” she said. “It was a memory that I loved growing up so it’s a chance to kind of relive a memory — a happy memory.”