The prom season has begun with Pendleton High School preparing for this weekend's formal almost-the-end-of-the-year dance.

At least four local schools have proms next week: Helix, Weston-McEwen, Mac-Hi and Pilot Rock. Hermiston students will have to wait until May 7 for their big event.

Pendleton committee members are busily decorating at the Elks for their theme, "Hearts Are Wild." Hermiston will celebrate "Unforgettable" at Cottage Flowers Event Center.

For weeks girls have been shopping for and selecting their dress. This year styles tend to be the vibrant pinks and corals, an employee at Formal Affair in Pendleton said. An employee at Talk of the Town in Hermiston said most girls are purchasing tea-length dresses with full skirts.

And, for the guys, tails are out. Formal Affair is renting lots of white and Talk of the Town is renting lots of black. Most are choosing long jackets without tails, said an employee at each shop. The really big thing, though, is a vest or cummerbund that matches the color of their date's dress.

Limos are still popular, but the number of vehicles available is limited. At this late date, sharing is probably the only available option.

Wristlets have been preferred to corsages for several years and tea roses have risen to much the same status as gardenias or orchids in the past.

Because florists are so busy with flowers for proms, most accept advance orders only. So the procrastinator may be out of luck.

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