AUBURN — Sharp-dressed couples stood out as they posed outside the Hilton Garden Inn in front of the Great Falls, smiling for photos.

A sign that graduation isn’t far away, Saturday night was prom night for several high schools, including Lewiston High, Auburn’s Edward Little and Poland Regional High School.

High school proms haven’t fallen out of fashion, and fashion continues to be a big part of the night.

Anthony Benedict, 17, and Amanda Dube, 16, both Poland students, stood under a flowering tree as her mother took photo after photo.

Amanda was dressed in a floor-length sea-foam-green gown with a fitted, jeweled and accented bodice. Her hair was in an up-do, she wore a drop-down necklace with matching earrings, and a bracelet and heels that sparkled.

Her date wore a black tuxedo with a bow tie and a vest that matched her gown.

Finding the right dress was half the fun, mothers and students said.

“When I saw the dress, I thought of Elsa from ‘Frozen,’ so we got it. I love it,” Amanda said. She said she’s looked forward to going to the prom since she was a freshman.

Anthony said it felt good to get dressed up, but he confessed he was going to the prom in large part to please Amanda. “She’s really happy, so I’m really happy.”

Going to the prom isn’t cheap.

Amanda’s mother, Linda Lajoie of Mechanic Falls, estimated they spent between $300 and $500 on her daughter’s gown, accessories, makeup and hair.

“This is my first girl going to the prom,” Lajoie said. Her daughter is very athletic, she said, and usually they shop for sweats and sneakers. Glam shopping was “really fun,” she said.

A few feet away, Veronica Morrill was photographing her daughter, Michaela, who was going to Edward Little’s prom with Jake Bazinet.

Michaela wore a floor-length, empire waist, punch-red gown accessorized with a drop-down necklace, earrings, a wrist corsage and heels.

Mother, daughter and Jake all went shopping for the gown.

“This is how the trying-on went,” Jake said. She tried on a dress, then showed it to him. He said no.

“She’d try on a dress,”  he said. “I said no, and no and no.”

Finally, they found the one. “This one here,” he said motioning to Michaela.

He estimated that he and Michaela spent $800 to go to the prom.

Many students go to proms with dates, but others hang out with friends.

Jake said he went to the prom last year and was ditched by his date. “I went anyway and had a blast,” he said. “It’s more about friends going together, just there to have fun.”

Lewiston students agreed.

“It doesn’t matter if you have a date or not,” said Amal Omar, 17.

“I’m going with my best friend,” said Shayla Pontbriand, 17, standing next to Cierra St. Amand, 18.

All three wore bold-colored, glamorous gowns. They stood outside the Ramada waiting for the Lewiston High prom to start.

Omar wore a deep purple fitted gown with a trail. Pontbriand, a fitted, floor-length, mint-green dress. St. Amand wore a salmon-pink fitted gown with straps.

The girls said they spent hours getting ready. Inside, the ballroom was decorated with deep purples, blacks and golds. The theme was “Masquerade.”

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