More than 200 of Hancock County's senior citizens on Wednesday –– decked out in their favorite western wear –– attended the 7th annual Hancock County Senior Citizens Prom at the Bay St. Louis Community Center.
"I think everyone had a great time," Hancock County Senior Prom committee member Arlene Johnson said. "We had people there I've never seen before."
This year's theme was "Boot Scootin' Boogie" and featured a complimentary meal, goodie bags, door prizes, line-dancing and much more.
During the event, committee members also crowned the king and queen of the prom.
This year's royalty was King Douglas Michael from Woodland Village Nursing Center in Diamondhead and Queen Barbara Durham from Dunbar Village in Bay St. Louis.
As in previous years, students from St. Stanislaus and Our Lady Academy volunteered their services and dancing skills.
Students from St. Stanislaus included: Austin Schruff, Michael Cabell, Jake Whitney, Prentice Wallace, Ethan McNeill, Keaton Cunningham, Tyler Koenenn, Aaron Rush, Cole Fletcher, Andrew Dufrene, Andrew Mayer, Thomas Mortillaro, William Trapani, Alex West, Marcus Favre, and Michael Burns.
Students from OLA included: Payal Kanji, Paige Palazzo, Lauren WIllis, Emily Greene, Hayden Matheson, Ashlyn Davis, Mary Beth Veiner, Courtland St. Paul, Mary Laine DeMetz, and Avery Kearney.
Johnson said that this year's event was made possible by the following sponsors: Kare-In-Home Hospice, Hancock County Human Resource Agency, Lemon Tree Adams Flower Shop, the city of Bay St. Louis, St. Joseph Hospice, KT Conrad, LLC, Seniors BlueBook, Mary Pyles, Hollywood Casino, Hancock Tourism, Oceans Behavioral Hospital, SouthGroup Insurance, Walmart, Tractor Supply Co., Edmond Fahey Funeral Home, Dunbar Village, the city of Waveland, Keesler Federal Credit Union, Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam, Our Lady Academy students, Conrad and Sharon Spatz, The First Bank, Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (S.A.L.T.), Bay High School JROTC, Memorial Woodland Village Nursing Center, Kelly Cannon-State Farm, Hancock County Senior Center, RSVP, Southern Hearts Hospice, SMP, Notre Dame Hospice, St. Stanislaus students, Lowe's, Walmart and Adams Lorraine florist.
Thad Anderson served as emcee and music was provided by Kody Lawrence and The Misfits.
Admission to the prom was free, but seniors were asked to bring a non-perishable food donation to benefit the Hancock County Food Pantry.
Senior Maxie Frierson said she enjoyed the prom, the food, and the dancing. She also won a gift card during the door prize giveaway, which she said will help her purchase food items.
Frierson said the prom is good for seniors because it gives them the opportunity to socialize.
"They can see people their own age," she said. "It's really great to do something like this."
Emmaline Burton said she really enjoyed the prom.
"It was nice looking and everyone had a wonderful time," she said. "My favorite part was the music. Everybody came together and talked and laughed together. You also see people you haven't seen for a long time. Arlene had it fixed up very nice and she always does a good job."
Raechil Conrad also said she enjoyed the music, line dancers, and food.
"I keep going back to the prom because of the fun," Conrad said. "It's a good time to get together and meet other seniors because it's important to socialize."
Eli Madrigal said the prom gives him a chance to see friends he doesn't get to see throughout the year.
"I liked the music," he said. "They played a lot of songs from teenage years. I like that they get us all together. Some of us don't have the means to travel or communicate with one another."
Jimmie Scott said he attends the prom every year.
"I enjoy it," he said. "I come from a large family and being around all kinds of people is very rewarding to me."
Scott said attending the prom makes him feel young again.
"I can still get around, dance, and do the things I like to do," Scott said. "Life doesn't stop because you're a senior, there's still enjoyment to be had until can't go no more."
Anna Pavolini said she enjoyed herself and spending time with her friends.
"I enjoyed myself and dancing with Bill," she said. "Yesterday, I got all dressed up and I looked pretty." Johnson said that if anyone lost or found prom pictures to contact her at 228-467-9292.