Even features 'Under the Sea' theme with actors dressed as 'Little Mermaid' characters

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FARMINGTON — Local children and their parents descended on the Farmington Civic Center tonight for the third annual Mom Prom, lining up to take photos with characters from "The Little Mermaid" and dancing in the ballroom.

The event featured a theme of "Under the Sea," complete with large screens displaying tropical fish.

“The Mom Prom started a couple of years ago as a fundraiser for the Get Pinked campaign,” Civic Center Supervisor Lisa Hutchens said. “Get Pinked didn’t happen in 2016, but we still had a lot of requests for the Mom Prom. So we decided to bring it back this year, but moved it to January.”

Past Mom Prom themes have also focused on popular Disney movies such as "Frozen" and "Beauty and the Beast." Actors dress like characters from the films and interact with the parents and kids.

“The photo ops are the most fun, followed by the dancing,” Hutchens said.

Crafts-related activities were also available, giving kids a chance to draw a picture between dancing and photo sessions. Dance contests went on throughout the night as the DJ played popular, upbeat music.

Actors portrayed various "Little Mermaid" characters, including Ariel in mermaid form, Ariel in human form, Sebastian and King Triton. Many of the little girls also donned Ariel costumes for the prom, and many parents dressed in their finest prom wear.

While the name of the event is Mom Prom, several fathers also attended to dance with their kids. Kory Jensen came with his wife, Shannon Nygren, and their daughter, Kinley. This was the first time the family had attended the Mom Prom. Jensen said he welcomed the chance to attend family-friendly events like the Mom Prom.

“There doesn’t seem to ever be a whole lot going on in Farmington for the whole family,” he said.

“I just came for the party because I like to dance!” countered 5-year-old Kinley.

Katie Fred brought her daughters Madison, age 5, and Payton, 2. Fred has attended each of the Mom Prom events and said it’s a highly anticipated event for her and her daughters.

“We love this one because Ariel’s our favorite princess,” she said, laughing, before being dragged off to the dance floor by her daughters. “But I’m in trouble because it’s my great-aunt’s 50th wedding anniversary, and we came here instead.”

All of this year’s costumed characters were either cast or crew members from last summer’s "The Addams Family" musical, which was Sandstone Productions' summer theater presentation at Lions Wilderness Park.

Caroline Creyke, who played Grandma in that production, came outfitted as Ursula the Sea Witch. This was Creyke’s first time helping out as a character for Mom Prom.

“Lisa (Hutchens) put it out there and said, ‘Hey gang, we need you,’ so here we are,” Creyke said. “It’s been really fun to dress up.”

Jasmine McKay, who was a crew member for "The Addams Family," portrayed Flounder at the event. McKay agreed it was a fun experience, although her character garnered less attention from the little girls than did the Ariel characters.

“But all of the Little Mermaids have been so cute,” she said.

Hutchens said attendance, which ended up totaling 172, was less than that for previous Mom Proms — perhaps because it came right after the holidays, and people weren’t as eager to attend a party. Despite that, she said, those who attend the event always have a great time.

“I had never heard of a Mom Prom before holding the first one,” she said. “But it’s been a huge hit.”

Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.

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