CATEGORIES Documentaries
Do you remember your high school prom? If it was anything like mine, you rented a tux at Mr. Tux (Westchester, NY, is not particularly clever with the store names), bought a corsage that you had no idea what to do with and sprung with your friends for a limo which, in hindsight, had no real legitimate purpose other than you're 17 and that's what impresses a 17-year-old. Oh yeah, throw in a bit of awkward, jerky movements that with a little (lot) more rhythm, others would call "dancing" and a stolen bottle of Jameson from your dad's liquor cabinet and you have a pretty memorable night.

As documented in 'The World's Best Prom,' though, the people of Racine, WI, would laugh me out of the sparsely decorated, rented catering hall. Like high school football in Texas, Racine takes the prom very seriously. Every year, a giant, raucous parade fills the streets as students compete for the most outlandish form of transportation. Here, stretch limos are the vehicular pariahs, as fire engines, 18-wheelers and live elephants signal the arrival of promgoers. Do you remember your high school prom? If it was anything like mine, you rented a tux at Mr. Tux (Westchester, NY, is not particularly clever with the store names), bought a corsage that you had no idea what to do with and sprung with your friends for a limo which, in hindsight, had no real legitimate purpose other than you're 17 and that's what impresses a 17-year-old. Oh yeah, throw in a bit of awkward, jerky movements that with a little (lot) more rhythm, others would call "dancing" and a stolen bottle of Jameson from your dad's liquor cabinet and you have a pretty memorable night.

As documented in 'The World's Best Prom,' though, the people of Racine, WI, would laugh me out of the sparsely decorated, rented catering hall. Like high school football in Texas, Racine takes the prom very seriously. Every year, a giant, raucous parade fills the streets as students compete for the most outlandish form of transportation. Here, stretch limos are the vehicular pariahs, as fire engines, 18-wheelers and live elephants signal the arrival of promgoers.

At the prom itself, a citywide party that combines students from seven high schools, red carpet entrances, paparazzi and fans make the event more akin to the Academy Awards than the display of awkward teenage adolescence most of us are used to. How serious does Racine take the event? Wall-to-wall TV coverage of the prom ensures that the city's non-teenage population can watch the prom vigilantly, gathering in homes and bars to share in the spectacle. Personally, the thought of some 45-year-old guy living in his mom's basement ogling teenagers at a prom would be a little disconcerting for me as a parent, but maybe that's just me. Regardless, the event has become a tradition for the 80,000-person city and it only seems to grow with each passing year. Did I mention live elephants?