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My Super Sweet 16 was bad enough, but now teens don’t have to wait until their over-the-top birthday parties to call all attention to themselves. This June, students around the world made flashy entrances to their proms thanks to crazy methods of transportation.
Two 16-year-old girls in the U.K. arrived at their prom in giant Barbie boxes. The mother of one of the girls created the two boxes out of plywood and Plexiglass over the course of two days, adding Mattel branding, hand-painted flowers, and battery-powered lights. The whole project cost £250, or about $388 US. Since 6-foot by 2-foot Barbie boxes don’t fit into a limo, the packaged girls arrived in the parking lot of the prom venue on the back of a flatbed truck. As the truck pulled to a stop, people started taking photos, which seemed to embarrass the girls. Not to insult the mother’s hard work (she made them in only two days, that’s skill), but the photo of the girls emerging from the boxes shown with an article in The Telegraph makes the boxes look a little bit like pink coffins with windows.
Two more British girls made a grand entrance at their prom this year when they arrived via helicopter. Wait, they have a reason for the extravagant transportation: all of the local limousines were booked.
(Limos were all booked up on the night of my prom, too, so I rolled up in my parents’ minivan.)
Instead of making the young ladies suffer the indignity of riding in the family car, the father of one of the girls arranged for them to take a helicopter ride to the venue, which was only eight miles away. He also got to accompany them on the flight. The trip cost £500, or about $777 US, but included a 30-minute flight around the area before the girls were delivered to the lawn of the prom venue.
In Northern Ireland, one young couple rented a replica of the General Lee, the Dodge Charger featured in The Dukes of Hazzard, from a specialty car provider. The two wanted something different from what the rest of their classmates were arriving in and were inspired by television shows like My Super Sweet 16.
In Port Washington, New York, there is a company that rents out three double-decker buses that feature a nonalcoholic bar, a sound system on each level, and a dance floor. For $120 each, 60 people can enjoy a 10-hour prom package that will pick up prom-goers from multiple pre-prom gatherings and drop them off at the afterparties. This year, all three buses were completely booked in June.
Not all teens are looking for glamorous vehicles, though; just something different from the standard limo and stretch-UV. One rickshaw company in Toronto, Canada, reported an increase in interest from prom-goers. Students are willing to pay $60 per hour with a three-hour minimum just to be pulled up to their prom by a person who will likely wear a fanny pack (I don’t know if they offer operators in prom-worthy attire, but I picture a lot of fanny packs when I think back to rickshaw operators). Yellow school buses are also an option. A group of 40 friends in Lake Oswego, Oregon, charted a school bus and paid only $7 per person.
No matter how you arrive to prom, the goal is to stand out. Depending on your budget, you can do it with a helicopter, a giant display on a flat bed truck, or in a school bus. You just can’t arrive in a vintage army tank. The Owner of World War II Military Vehicle Rentals in Newport, California, has to dash dreams when he tells prospective renters that the tanks aren’t street legal on public roads. A tank would have to be shipped to the venue at a cost of $1,000 to $3,000 (on top of the $4,000 rental fee) just so it could roll through the venue’s driveway.